USA vs. Colombia Olympics Group Stage: Yanks Held to Shock 2-2 Draw



Megan Rapinoe made her first appearance since tearing her ACL in December and teenage sensation Mallory Pugh scored what seemed like a game winner, but two free kick strikes from Catalina Usme earned Colombia a shocking 2-2 draw with the U.S. Women’s National Team.

Knowing a win or draw would see them top group G, the U.S. came out looking for the win and were almost up after just three minutes when star Carli Lloyd got on the end of a cross just outside the six-yard box. Unfortunately, the ensuing header found the crossbar as the Colombians escaped an early deficit.

World Cup star Rapinoe made her return to the side after tearing her ACL last December and played 32 minutes before being subbed for Pugh, but Rapinoe’s biggest contribution during her time on the field was for Colombia. A rash challenge by Rapinoe gave Colombia a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box, and the South Americans cashed in on 26 minutes. Usme ripped a low shot right at keeper Hope Solo, but the usually excellent Solo let the ball slip right between her legs. The goal sent the crowd in the Amazônia Arena into a frenzy, as the goal was the first for Colombia in the Olympics as well as the first goal the team has scored against the Americans.

The Americans took a few minutes to get back into their rhythm, but eventually created plenty of scoring chances. Christen Press latched onto a long ball in the 39th minute and found herself in alone on goal, but could only shoot straight at the Colombian keeper.

Two minutes later, the U.S. had the equalizer. An initial shot from Lloyd was deflected and hit the crossbar before winger Crystal Dunn charged in to clean up the mess and get the U.S. back on level terms. Once the equalizer was on the board, it was all USA. Lindsey Horan had two great looks go just wide on either side of halftime, and the Orlando Pride’s Alex Morgan, who came off the bench in place of Lloyd, saw her shot go begging in the 54th minute.

In the 59th minute the Colombian defense was broken yet again, this time by the youngster Pugh. The UCLA commit collected a cross from Dunn on the edge of the box, dribbled toward the penalty spot, and fired a low shot into the back of the net to seemingly earn the Yanks all three points.

It appeared as though the Yanks were on their way to another victory when Usme struck again for Colombia. Standing over another free kick with only extra time left, Usme fired a curling shot to the back post that whizzed past the fist of Solo and into the side netting, sending the Colombians into a craze as they secured a historic draw. The draw saw the U.S. finish the group stage at seven points, but the team had already clinched a spot in the quarterfinals.

Canada 2, Germany 1

The Orlando Pride's Josée Bélanger got the start for Canada, which picked up a huge win over Germany to top its group. Star Christine Sinclair did not even have to play, which could pay huge dividends for the Canadians down the road.


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