Goals from Heather O'Reilly, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd helped the Americans breeze past Colombia.The United States women's team cruised into the quarterfinals of the Women's World Cup, defeating an overmatched Colombia side 3-0 at the Rhein-Neckar Arena in Sinsheim, Germany in Group C action.
Heather O'Reilly opened the scoring in the first half with a long-distance wonder-strike, but the U.S. was frustrated the rest of the half as it went into halftime with just a 1-0 advantage.
The second half was a different story, however, as the U.S. asserted its dominance, with goals from Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd killing the match off within the first 15 minutes of the half.
The U.S. had the game's first real chance in the seventh minute as Abby Wambach was played in by Heather O'Reilly, but her point-blank half-volley was saved well by Colombian goalkeeper Sandra Sepulveda, and Amy Rodriguez then couldn't keep the rebound on frame.
Rodriguez spurned another golden opportunity just a couple minutes later, as she fired wide of the goal on a breakaway attempt after a Colombia turnover in the midfield.
The U.S. didn't have to wait long for the opener however, as O'Reilly took advantage of another Colombia turnover and unleashed a rocket from 25-yards out into the top left corner. The strike will surely be a goal of the tournament contender.
The Americans continued to frustratingly miss chances they'd usually expect to bury, with Abby Wambach skying a header over the bar from close range after a great cross from O'Reilly in the 31st minute.
"Although it just wasn’t Abby Wambach’s day today, I’ve no doubt she’ll start knocking in a few goals soon," said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage, expressing confidence that her star striker would start coming up with the goals.
Lauren Cheney saw a half-volley from the top of the box saved well by Sepulveda, as the U.S. searched for a second before the half.
The U.S. got its second goal just five minutes after the break when Lauren Cheney cut a ball into halftime substitute Megan Rapinoe in the box, who took a touch onto her right boot and fired home from just inside the penalty area.
Colombia jumped to life right after the goal, springing the previously dormant Hope Solo into action with a pair of saves from long-distance strikes.
The 57th minute saw the U.S. kill the match off as Carli Lloyd cracked a long-range effort that went through the arms of Sepulveda in the Colombian goal, who really should have done better. At 3-0, it was well and truly over.
The Americans had plenty of chances to bolster its lead after the third goal, but Abby Wambach and Rapinoe both struck the woodwork in the game's final half hour.
Despite her struggles, Wambach was more than appreciative of the support the team received in Sinsheim.
"It was great winning in front of so many fans, particularly all the troops who’d come from the nearby American military bases. We wanted to perform well for them," she explained.The United States will finish play in Group C when it takes on Sweden to decide first place, on July 6 in Wolfsburg.