USWNT Defeat Colombia 2-0 In World Cup Round Of 16


Last night, the United States Women’s National Team defeated Colombia 2-0 to reach the World Cup quarterfinals, where they’ll face China. After letting the victory marinate for a little, below are five takeaways from the USWNT Round of 32 win.

Winning Ugly: Although the USWNT has yet to be defeated, they haven’t looked all too imposing in any of their victories. Against Colombia, they went into halftime tied at zero, lacking creativity towards the opponent’s goal. The US also missed an easy opportunity on a Abby Wambach penalty kick. Aside from the fact that the penalty kick should not have been rewarded after replays showed the foul occurred outside the box, the US needs to make the most of those opportunities to put themselves in the best position to win the World Cup.

The USWNT did apply offensive pressure, however, having two decent opportunities in the first 15 minutes of play from Tobin Heath and Wambach. The offense wasn’t overwhelming, but they did create the sense that multiple goals would be put in the net, whether that was because their strong play or Colombia’s lack of skill can be argued further.

The USWNT are still waiting to play their best game, and they’ll only have three more opportunities to show it.

Next (Wo)Man Up: The largest negative takeaway from last night’s game was yellow cards given to Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday. Both picked up their second card of the tournament, meaning they will not be playing in the quarterfinal against China. Morgan Brian is in line to be the replacement for Holiday at the central midfield position, while head coach Jill Ellis has some tactical decisions to make for replacing Rapinoe. Rapinoe was subbed for Press in the 75’ yesterday, while Holiday played all 90 minutes.

Welcome Back, Alex Morgan: After a bone bruise injury to her knee that forced her to miss World Cup warmup games, Alex Morgan played a full 90 minutes and was rewarded with a goal that put the Americans up 1-0 in the 53rd minute. The Colombian goalkeeper didn’t play the goal superbly, but it has to be a confidence boost for Morgan who’s shot from the narrow angle hit off the keeper into the top of the net. She also drew a red card that led to a penalty shot. Her offensive mindset for an entire game should ease the pressure growing from the offense’s lack of scoring punch.

Defensive Powerhouse: This United States group has only conceded one goal this tournament thus far (Australia in group stage), and secured their third consecutive shutout. Colombia truly did not have more than one decent chance and scoring last night, as the group of Hope Solo, Meghan Klingenberg, Julie Johnston, Becky Sauerbrunn and Ali Krieger just dominated in every phase of the defensive part of the game.

Solo Not Tested: United States goalkeeper Hope Solo has earned her reputation, a great goaltender throughout her years of playing with the USWNT. But aside from the group stage game against Australia—the goalie that tied Briana Scurry for the most wins by a U.S. goalkeeper (133)—hasn’t had to do much thus far. It’s a credit to the team’s strong defensive unit, but if Solo is eventually tested in one of the final three games, she has to make sure she’s on her A game.