Three and easy as USA qualify
© AFP

USA have qualified for the quarter-finals of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Colombia at Hampden Park. Megan Rapinoe, Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd were on target as Pia Sundhage’s side made it two wins from two and left their South American opponents on the brink of elimination.

The reigning champions were simply too strong for the brave Colombians and dominated from the start, with Sandra Sepulveda forced into a brave early save at Alex Morgan's feet after just five minutes. USA had the ball in the net soon after through Lauren Cheney, and though the forward – one of three changes from the team against France – was rightly penalised for hauling back Natalia Gaitain, it wasn’t long before a legitimate goal arrived.

A spectacular strike it was too, with Rapinoe curling a powerful right-foot shot high beyond the reach of the helpless Sepulveda from 25 yards. Rapinoe has been an impressive performer at London 2012 and she was denied what seemed a certain second as half-time approached, with Colombia captain Natalia Gaitain somehow scrambling the ball away after the US No15 had volleyed goalwards from just five yards.

USA’s relentless push continued in the second half though, and with 74 minutes on the clock Wambach finally made it 2-0, working a neat one-two with Tobin Heath before bursting into the box and sliding a low right-foot shot into the far corner of the net. The goal was Wambach’s sixth at the Olympics and takes the big striker beyond Mia Hamm and Tiffeny Milbrett as her team’s all-time leading scorer at this illustrious event.

It also removed any lingering doubt about where the points were heading, and there was still time for Lloyd to cap a thoroughly satisfying afternoon’s work for Sundhage’s side with a third goal 13 minutes from time. This one rounded off a patient, probing US move, with Lloyd coolly side-footing into the bottom corner after being played through by a defence-splitting pass from the excellent Rapinoe.