USA powered their way into the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ quarter-finals with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Colombia in Sinsheim.
The result leaves the world number 1 one top of Group C on goal difference ahead of Sweden, with both teams sharing six points. Colombia, and Korea DPR, who lost 2-0 to the Swedes earlier in the day, are both eliminated.
USA’s goal was rarely threatened throughout the 90 minutes, while the Stars and Stripes missed a host of opportunities to extend their lead. The tone was set early with Abby Wambach’s effort blocked and forward partner Amy Rodriguez firing the rebound over.
However, USA broke the deadlock on 12 minutes as Heather O’Reilly struck with one of the goals of the tournament. Colombia lost possession on the edge of the penalty area and O’Reilly unhesitatingly fired an unerring drive into the far top corner of the Colombia goal.
The goal gave USA, and in particular O’Reilly, more impetus, with the No9 firing again on goal from the right, with Wambach unable to convert the rebound. The same pair combined again with Wambach just unable to direct her far post header under the crossbar from O’Reilly’s pinpoint cross.
The best moment of the half for the South Americans saw a smart forward move come undone as Katerin Castro was flagged for offside when through on goal.
The match was virtually over as a contest five minutes after the interval as half-time substitute Megan Rapinoe scored USA’s second after being set up by Lauren Cheney.
Seven minutes later Carli Lloyd bagged the Americans third with a long-range effort as Pia Sundhage’s charges threatened to run riot.
It proved not to be Wambach’s day in front of goal with the prolific goalscorer coming close several times, most notably hitting the post in the latter stages as she beat goalkeeper Sandra Sepulveda in a race for a loose ball outside the penalty area.
Player of the match: Carli Lloyd (USA)