It was close for a while, but midway through the second half, the US women’s national team finally took over their match with plucky Colombia to pull out a 3-0 win and book their place in the Olympic quarterfinals.
Former University of Portland Pilot Megan Rapinoe notched the matchwinner in the 33rd minute, curling a ball up and over Colombian keeper.
The goal eased the Yanks’ nerves after a lackluster start at Hamden Park in Glasgow, Scotland, and they controlled much of the play from there on.
However, Pia Sundhage’s side were unable to add to their lead until Abby Wambach finished off a through ball from Tobin Heath in the 74th minute. It was Wambach’s 140th international strike, and a just revenge after she suffered a punch to the face from defender Kelis Peduzine in the 39th minute, which went unpunished.
Veteran Carly Lloyd iced the win in the 77th minute after a well-worked team play. Rapinoe picked up the assist on the goal.
Beaverton native and former Westside Timbers youth player Ana Maria Montoya made her Olympic debut for Colombia in the 71st minute. She had one shot in the contest.
With six points from their first two Group G matches, the USWNT will face North Korea on Monday at Old Trafford, home to Manchester United.
Sinclair keeps Canada's hopes alive
A goal from Melissa Tancredi and a brace from University of Portland alum and Canadian veteran Christine Sinclair drove the Canada women's national team to a 3-0 win over South Africa in Group F play.
Tancredi opened the scoring in the 7th minute, before Sinclair took care of the rest, putting a header away in the 58th minute and notching the icer in the 86th minute.
Canada are now in 3rd place in Group F, one point behind leaders Japan and Sweden, who drew on Saturday. The Canadians close out group play on Monday against Canada.
In the Olympic tournament, the top two from each group advance, as do the two best 3rd-place finishers among the three groups.