USA, USA, USA! USA Women’s soccer team put a fourth win under their belt, beating New Zealand 2-0 in the quarterfinals of the olympics! Yep, that’s right! they currently have a 3 game shutout streak, so hats off to Hope Solo and team USA! As a former soccer player myself, I like to keep up with women’s soccer when I can, especially during the olympics 🙂 Here is a full schedule of both men’s and women’s soccer games: Olympic Soccer Event Schedule.
Today’s game: I tuned into NBC live online a bit early in anticipation of the match between USA and NZL at the Newcastle United Field. New Zealand was donning black from head to toe (ominous on their part?), while the US sported their candy striped tops and white shorts. During the first 10 minutes of the game, the play was fierce, both teams fighting to find a rhythm. Finally a chance emerged: New Zealand goalie Jenny Bindon went out for a shot, left the goal wide open (albeit at an awkward angle) for Kelly O’Hara who had the ball at her feet. A defender was heavy on O’Hara’s heels, so instead of taking an extra touch to get the ball under control, Kelly missed the shot, but not by much. It wasn’t until the 27th minute that the US finally put a combination together to make the first goal of the game. Hats off to Abby Wambach who tapped the ball into the back of the net! It was one of those quick passes across the penalty box that just needed a little encouragement to go through that ‘backdoor’. That 142nd international goal brought Abby Wambach one step closer to matching to Mia Hamm’s record: only 16 more to go… At half-time, the game was 1-0, USA.
At the start of the second half, 45 minutes of heated play ensued. The US had so many chances to score, but couldn’t seem to increase the slight lead. During the 72nd minute of play, a quick-paced and controversial situation occurred when Jenny Bindon defended a break away from Alex Morgan. Both women went down for the count after impact. Medics were called out on both sides. Within a couple minutes, it became clear that both players had recovered enough to resume play. The referee decided that the best course of action was an uncontested drop ball for New Zealand. Team USA certainly wasn’t happy about that decision… Shortly thereafter, the 81st minute substitution of Alex Morgan for Sydney Leroux, proved to be a crucial step for clinching victory. Within 6 minutes, an opportunity presented itself to Leroux. With one perfect touch, she found the open space between Bindon’s legs (nutmeg) and sealed the fate for the US. Team USA was heading to the semi-finals! Even with an additional 4 minutes of stoppage time, the US maintained a shutout. And for those of you wondering how Hope Solo fared, she certainly had plenty to do, but mainly defended shots from far away. It was certainly an exciting, action-packed game to watch! The US will play the winner of the match between Great Britain and Canada in the semi finals. Congrats ladies!!!! Tune in Monday for the match between USA and Canada at 11:45 PST and 2:45 EST! Click here for a recap of USA vs Canada, Great North American Battle!
Official Olympic Statistics:
Posession: USA 53% vs New Zealand 47%
Shots: USA 22 vs New Zealand 10
Shots on goal: USA 7 vs New Zealand 5
Highlights of the game (screenshots from NBC live feed)
What are your favorite olympic events?