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USWNT Squeaks By Colombia 2-0

The USWNT beat Colombia 2-0, but that is about the best that can be said about the match.

In the first half, a swarm of yellow Colombian jerseys surrounded the Americans every time they touched the ball. The team was unable to play its way out from under all of this pressure and did not have any cohesive play upfield.

The only thing the USWNT accomplished in the first 45 minutes was earning two yellow cards. One for Lauren Holiday in the 17th minute, on a questionable call, and another for Megan Rapinoe in the 42nd minute. Both Holiday and Rapinoe were already playing on yellows, and with this second accumulated card, will be forced to sit out the next match.

The second half started with a bang. In the 47th minute, Alex Morgan was able to penetrate Colombia’s defense and looked to take the keeper one on one.

Catalina Perez was in goal with Colombia’s first-string net minder out due to accumulated yellow cards. Perez came off her line to head off Morgan’s shot and took her out at the top of the box.

This earned Perez a straight red card and a penalty kick for the USWNT. Colombia was then forced to sub in its third-string goalkeeper, Stefany Castano, and play the remainder of the game one player down. Abby Wambach took the penalty kick and didn’t even place the ball on frame as the ball went wide left.

However, the United States finally broke through in the 53rd minute. Morgan took a shot from a tough angle on the right side of goal, almost close to the back end line. The ball took a deflection off of the Castano’s left glove and went in.

The quirks of the match had not yet run out. In the 64th minute Colombia fouled Rapinoe in the box and the USWNT was awarded another penalty kick. This time Carli Lloyd stepped up and hammered it home right down the center as the keeper went left.

The 69th minute saw Wambach subbed out for midfielder Morgan Brian. This changed the formation for the team from a 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1, with Holiday moving up higher, above Lloyd and Brian and Morgan sticking up top alone.

Even with Colombia down a player for basically the entire second half, the Americans did not appear dominant. The team came out looking for a statement win, and failed to deliver. The one bright spot, as has been the story in the World Cup so far, was the defense which looked solid.

Also of note, Lori Chalupny came on for Ali Krieger on the back line to earn some minutes. Midfielder Heather O’Reilly can’t seem to buy time under Jill Ellis, but now may see an opportunity with both Holiday and Rapinoe out for the next game due to yellow card accumulation.

The USWNT will play China in the quarterfinal match on Friday.

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