Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd both scored to put the US into the Women’s World Cup quarter-finals with a hard-fought 2-0 win over 10-woman Colombia on Monday.
The 28th-ranked South Americans were a player down for most of the second half after new goalkeeper Catalina Perez was sent off for a diving tackle on US forward Morgan two minutes after the break.
Abby Wambach stepped up to take the penalty, but the superstar striker dramatically sent the ball left of goal, denying her a record-equaling 15th World Cup goal to match Brazil star Marta.
Morgan finally broke through after 53 minutes, with Lloyd getting a second 13 minutes later from a penalty after Megan Rapinoe was fouled inside the box by defender Angela Clavijo.
The US, ranked second in the world and winners in 1991 and 1999, next meet China in Ottawa on Friday for a place in the semi-finals. The US have never failed to reach the World Cup semi-finals.
However, it was a costly game for the Olympic champions, with key midfielders Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday set to miss the China game after collecting yellow cards.
“We’ve obviously got decisions to make, but we’ve invested significantly in players over the last six months,” said US coach Jill Ellis. “We’ve dealt with injuries so I feel very confident in the players we have to be able to come on and contribute, and I know they will be confident to be able to step up and help us advance.”
It was a first World Cup match for Perez, who was replacing first-choice goalkeeper Sandra Sepulveda, sitting out the game after a second yellow card in their 2-1 loss to England.
“If we had not had our goalkeeper sent off, the outcome would have been different,” Colombia coach Fabian Taborda said. “She’s a great goalkeeper. I think she played well. Unfortunately, she was shown a red card. It’s the first time she has gotten one.”
The 20-year-old, who plays college soccer for the University of Miami, pulled off three impressive saves in the first half.
Wambach thought she had the opening goal minutes into the game at the Commonwealth Stadium, but her rebound off a Perez stop was ruled offside.
Perez also kept out a Wambach volley and tipped Morgan’s downward header over the crossbar.
At the other end of the pitch, Hope Solo was rarely tested in the US goal as she earned a record 174th cap for the US, surpassing Briana Scurry’s 173 between 1994 and 2008.
The real action came immediately after the break with Perez sent off for fouling Morgan, who was through on goal. Stefany Castano stepped into goal with forward Ingrid Vidal coming off, but Colombia — in the World Cup for the first time — could not reproduce the heroics that saw them shock third-ranked France 2-0 in their group match.
The breakthrough came eight minutes after the break when Morgan received a pass in the penalty area and fired through Castano’s hands. Lloyd’s penalty doubled their advantage.
“It was a huge match for us, a confidence booster as they’re not an easy team to play against,” Lloyd said. “We were confident the chances would come. We just have to put them away. We haven’t peaked yet. We still have a few more games to go for that.”
A feel-good campaign allowing fans to have cardboard cutouts of themselves at Australian rugby league games has been hijacked by pranksters, with a notorious serial killer among those making an appearance — while one TV show edited an image of Adolf Hitler into the crowd. The NRL launched “Fan In The Stand” to coincide with the sport’s return at the weekend after its season was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporters are barred from stadiums under strict health protocols, but can pay A$22 (US$15) to have their photograph printed on a life-size cutout and placed in the stands of
When Atalanta BC coach Gian Piero Gasperini was struggling with COVID-19 in the middle of March, the prospect of entering Bergamo’s hospital — which was overflowing with coronavirus patients at the time — made him fear for his life. “Every two minutes an ambulance passed by. It seemed like a war,” Gasperini said. “At night, I would think: ‘If go in there [the hospital], what will happen to me?’” Fortunately for Gasperini, he quickly recovered and did not have to check into Pope John XXIII hospital. The coach only recently confirmed that he had the coronavirus when the entire team was tested 10
The losing captain thanked the winning team’s players for their personal sacrifices leading into the match and a charter flight pilot received a big round of applause when his plane beat incoming fog to touch down after midnight following another game as feel-good stories off the field matched those on it as the National Rugby League (NRL) restarted its season in Australia over the weekend. The New Zealand Warriors’ 18-0 win over St George Illawarra was the Auckland-based team’s first of the season after three rounds and it could not have come at a better time. Due to international travel restrictions
“Road Runner” Alphonso Davies lived up to his nickname with another lightning sprint on Saturday as Bayern Munich opened a 10-point lead in the Bundesliga. Having defeated second-placed Borussia Dortmund 1-0 away in midweek, Bayern enjoyed a 5-0 romp over Fortuna Duesseldorf. Defender Mathias Joergensen scored an early own-goal before Benjamin Pavard, Robert Lewandowski (2) and Davies scored for Bayern. With five games remaining, the defending champions, who have won their past eight league games, are comfortably on course for an eighth straight league title. Davies scored the best goal of the game when the fleet-footed defender pressed Duesseldorf into making a mistake, barged