Wednesday, July 25, 2012

U.S. women rally from two down with four unanswered goals to defeat France 4-2

By Money Mike

So we all know that the Olympics don't officially start until Friday. However, the only exception to that is Olympic soccer kicked off with the women's tournament today. Six women's matches were played today but the only match I care about is a match that features the United States. Like earlier today at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland, and yes folks this was an official Olympic game. This U.S. came back from two goals down as they scored four unanswered goals to defeat France 4-2. Good way to kick off the 2012 Olympic tournament for the two time Olympic Champions. Despite the result, I wasn't overly impressed with the midfielders. Most the game, they just seem to have a knack on giving the ball away to the opposition and other times, their teammates just fall asleep at the wrong time. Hopefully USA head coach Pia Sundhage can work with her team in that area during practice leading up to their next match on Saturday.

It took only 12 minutes for the deadlock to be broken, unfortunately, it was France who struck early. France's long ball was headed away by Amy LePeilbet but right to Gaetane Thiney and from 20 yards out Thiney strikes the ball brilliantly in to the back of the net to put France ahead 1-0. Hope Solo did get a fingertip to it but not enough.

Two minutes later, the U.S. we're two goals down. Elise Bussaglia took the corner for France on the far side of the pitch. The U.S. fail to clear the ball out of their area and Marie-Laure Delie makes them pay as she rips her shot into the net to put France up 2-0 over the two-time defending Olympic Champions.

The United States would climb back into this one in the 19th minute. Megan Rapinoe, who is one of four players from the Sounders Women's team, took the corner from the near side and what we all know is that if the corner kick finds the head of Abby Wambach, it's more than likely going to be a goal and that's what happened here. Rapinoe floated the ball to the far post and it was Abby Wambach who got up and headed the ball back across and inside the left post cut the French lead to one.

With just over a half an hour gone by, the United States would equalise and it was another one of four Sounders Women on this team, you guys may have heard of this person before, her name is Alex Morgan. Following an offside call against France, Hope Solo (speaking of the Sounders Women), booted the ball into the French half which missed the head of Abby Wambach but ball found Alex Morgan in the box. Morgan waited for ball to bounce right in front of her before chipping the ball over the head of French goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi and in to back of the goal to tie this baby up at two goals a piece. Remember last year following USA's World Cup defeat to Japan, I talked a little bit about Alex Morgan and why she should've started and went ahead and stated that she was the future of this U.S. Women's team. Of course she was just making a jump to the international level and she had nine international goals. Now fast forward to July 25, 2012, and the 23 year old has become one of the best in the game. That equalising goal was Alex Morgan's 28th in her international career in her 43rd cap and I'll bet she's gonna reach 100 caps way before the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.

In the 56th minute, the United States would get their third unanswered goal to take their first lead of the match. Megan Rapinoe poked the ball in the middle for Carli Lloyd and remember the goal she scored against Brazil in the 2008 Gold Medal match in Beijing? When she took one touch and just cracked one inside the far post? Well, this goal against France was no different. Rapinoe fed the ball to Lloyd who took one touch and then BANG!! Right footed from outside the area and the goalkeeper had no chance of stopping that one and the U.S. who were 2-0 down earlier in the game were now 3-2 up.

10 minutes later the U.S. would add a fourth. Once again, Megan Rapinoe was involved in the play as she played the ball long to the far side of the pitch and French defender Corine Franco made a mistake by sliding in to try to break up the play which gave Tobin Heath so much space to run at the French defense. Heath took it toward the end line and squared the ball across which missed Abby Wambach but right there was Alex Morgan at the far post to tap it in for her second of the game to make it 4-2 for the U.S. and that's how it would end.

Scoring summary:

France - Gaetane Thiney 1 (12')

France - Marie-Laure Delie 1 (14')

United States - Abby Wambach 1 (19')

United States - Alex Morgan 1 (32')

United States - Carli Lloyd 1 (56')

United States - Alex Morgan 2 (66')

Misconduct summary:



United States - Hope Solo; Amy LePeilbet, Rachel Buehler, Christie Rampone, Kelley O'Hara; Megan Rapinoe (Sydney Leroux 84'), Shannon Boxx (Carli Lloyd 17'), Lauren Cheney, Tobin Heath; Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan (Amy Rodriguez 74')

France - Sarah Bouhaddi; Corine Franco, Wendie Renard, Ophelie Meilleroux (Laura Georges 46'), Sonia Bompastor; Camile Abily (Sandrine Soubeyrand 71'), Louisa Necib (Eugenie le Sommer 46'), Elise Bussaglia; Elodie Thomis, Marie-Laure Delie, Gaetane Thiney

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