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U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

June 22, 2015
GOOD ENOUGH
USA women struggle, get past 10-player Colombia to reach Women's World Cup quarterfinals


Carli Lloyd converted a penalty kick to ice the WNT's 2-0 win over Colombia on Monday.
Carli Lloyd converted a penalty kick to ice the WNT's 2-0 win over Colombia on Monday.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
EDMONTON, Alberta -- Despite struggling once again and having Abby Wambach miss a penalty kick, the United States booked a spot in the Women's World Cup quarterfinals behind a 2-0 win over shorthanded Colombia Monday night at Commonwealth Stadium.

Midfielder Alex Morgan and striker Carli Lloyd scored within a 13-minute span of the second half to deliver the win.

The Americans will play against China in Ottawa on Friday. They have reached the quarterfinals in all seven Women's World Cups.

"This is the World Cup," USA coach Jill Ellis said. "I am very satisfied we are advancing. It's about finding a way."

Goalkeeper Hope Solo recorded the shutout, her third of the tournament. The USA hasnít allowed a goal in 333 minutes, since the 3-1 victory over Australia in its group opener.

Still, Colombia head coach Fabian Taborda was quite proud of his team, which battled the USA hard after pulling off a group stage upset over France.

"They played with an iron will from the beginning to the end of this match," he said. "At times the best team in the world didn't look too good with the way we performed."

Taborda certainly had a point. Colombia managed to keep the game scoreless early into the second half before the wheels started to come off for the South American side early in the second half.

Colombia goalkeeper Catalina Perez knocked Morgan down at the top left of the penalty area. A penalty kick was awarded to the USA and Perez was given a straight red card in the 47th minute, forcing the South Americans to play a player down for the final 43 minutes.

Two minutes later, Stephany Castano, the Colombians' No. 3 goalkeeper, was inserted into the game, replacing forward Ingrid Vidal. Colombia's regular keeper, Sandra Sepulveda, sat out the game due to a yellow-card suspension.

On the ensuing penalty, Wambach, who has scored a world-record 182 goals, fired a left-footed attempt wide left.

In the 53rd minute, the USA scored when Morgan latched onto a feed from Ali Krieger and beat Castano from the left side. Castano managed to get an arm on the ball as it sailed into the net. It was Morgan's first goal of the tournament.

The Americans doubled their lead in the 66th minute on their second penalty kick of the game as Angela Clavijo tripped midfielder Megan Rapinoe in the box. This time Lloyd took the penalty, rifling a shot into the right corner while Castano dove the other way. Lloyd has two Womenís World Cup goals and both have been scored against Colombia.

"We knew the chances would come and we had to put them away," Lloyd said. "We haven't peaked yet. ... Just got to keep moving forward and plugging away."

The USA will be forced to play without midfielders Lauren Holiday and Rapinoe in the quarterfinals as they were assessed their second yellow cards of the competition in the 17th and 42nd minutes, respectively.

Rapinoe has been the USA's best attacking option this tournament. Ellis did not say who would replace her in the Starting XI.

"She's a tremendous player," she said. "We've got players with good technical skills. I have the utmost confidence in the players we have."

Ellis said that Morgan Brian would "likely" be Holiday's replacement.

Added Lloyd on replacing the two players: "It's going to be tough. We knew going in they were sitting with a yellow. But we've got to move on."


   
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