The United States won Group G on Tuesday night, but their performance left us with more questions than answers after the 2-2 draw with Colombia in the final group stage match.
Hope Solo took headlines for a second time this Olympic Games except this time for a rare, on-field blunder in the 26th minute. Colombia’s Catalina Usme sent a free kick up and over the wall toward Solo which normally would have prompted a routine save. This time, however, the ball found its way through Solo’s legs and across the goal line to give Colombia the lead.
Shortly before halftime, the United States leveled the scoreline as Christen Press brilliantly sent a through ball to Carli Lloyd who fired but hit the crossbar. Crystal Dunn was in the right spot at the right time and finished the rebound and providing the equalizer in the 41st minute.
Dunn was again instrumental in the American’s second goal of the night when she crossed the ball to assist the 18-year-old, Mallory Pugh, who beat multiple Colombian defenders to finish and take the lead. When all signs pointed toward a United States victory, the Usme had her own say and whipped in a shot from the right which Solo failed to clear and ended up in the back of the net.
Despite the lackluster performance Tuesday night, the United States women’s performances over the last week still earned them the top spot in Group G and will face Sweden in the quarterfinal on Friday. With history riding on this next match, expect Jill Ellis to get her side back to its best before they take on former US head coach Pia Sundhage and Sweden at the Mané Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia.
Georgia natives, Kelley O’Hara and Morgan Brian both started in the draw Tuesday night. O’Hara played the full 90 minutes and Brian was substituted for Allie Long in the 65th minute.