US gains WCup quarters with 3-0 rout of Colombia
The U.S. advanced to the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup
by routing Colombia 3-0 with goals from Heather O’Reilly, Megan
Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd on Saturday.
The two-time World Cup champions advanced to the last eight with
Sweden, which beat North Korea 1-0 in the early Group C match.
The U.S. and Sweden, one of two teams to beat the Americans this
year, meet on Wednesday in Wolfsburg to determine the group
”I’m just really proud of this team,” O’Reilly said. ”I think
we did some great stuff today.”
Colombia is a team on the rise, finishing fourth at the Under-20
World Cup last year. But the youngsters were no match for the more
experienced Americans. The U.S. harassed goalkeeper Sandra
Sepulveda relentlessly, and she didn’t get much help from her
defenders, who were shredded by the speedy O’Reilly time and again
– and set up O’Reilly’s goal in the 12th minute.
Colombia was trying to clear a botched goal kick, but it bounced
off Liana Salazar and fell to O’Reilly. She took a few steps and
then blasted a right-footed shot from 25 meters (yards) that
Sepulveda had no chance to stop. It was O’Reilly’s third World Cup
goal, and 30th overall.
”Pia’s always saying, `If you have space in front of you, just
take it,”’ O’Reilly said. ”I took a couple of touches and just
let it fly.”
The sellout crowd of 25,475, made up mostly of U.S. fans,
erupted in cheers, and the players lined up to give a salute to
American military members. There is a U.S. Army base in nearby
Mannheim, and about 350 service members and their families turned
out to watch the team practice on Thursday.
The Americans could have had another four or five goals just in
the first half alone. But, just as they have much of the year, they
struggled to finish.
”It still was OK because we were creating chances,” U.S. coach
Pia Sundhage said.
The U.S. quickly put the game out of reach in the second half,
with Rapinoe scoring in the 50th and Lloyd in the 57th.
Rapinoe, who replaced Amy Rodriguez at halftime, took a throw-in
for the U.S. that Cheney collected. She dished off to Rapinoe, who
made a thunderous shot from just inside the penalty box. Sepulveda
managed to get a hand on Lloyd’s shot from point-blank range, but
couldn’t stop it.
Colombia’s best chance came in the 54th off substitute Orianica
Velasquez, whose shot had to be punched away by Hope Solo.
Colombia: Sandra Sepulveda; Natalia Gaitan, Nataly Arias, Kelis
Peduzine, Fatima Montano; Diana Ospina, Carmen Rodallega, Liana
Salazar (Yoreli Rincon, 55), Yulieht Dominguez; Catalina Usme
(Orianica Velasquez, 54), Katerin Castro.
United States: Hope Solo; Christie Rampone, Rachel Buehler, Amy
LePeilbet (Stephanie Cox, 56), Ali Krieger; Carli Lloyd, Lori
Lindsey, Heather O’Reilly (Tobin Heath, 62), Lauren Cheney; Abby
Wambach, Amy Rodriguez (Megan Rapinoe, 46).