USA make perfect start to title defence
Reigning FIFA Women's World Cup™ and Women's Olympic Football Tournament champions USA got their gold medal defence off to a solid start with a 2-0 victory over New Zealand in Belo Horizonte. Carli Lloyd opened the scoring in the first half with a header, before Alex Morgan increased their advantage just after the break.
The 2012 gold medal winners stepped on the gas from the opening moments, hunting down possession and keeping the ball well. Two headed opportunities went begging, with Morgan a culprit, before Lloyd made sure with the third headed chance. Tobin Heath shrugged off one defender before dancing past a couple more and delivering a delicious cross for Lloyd to head home.
Early in the second half the Stars and Stripes doubled their lead. Morgan received a pass from Morgan Brian inside the Kiwi penalty area and slammed a left-footed shot past Erin Nayler, leaving her with no chance.
New Zealand attempted to get back into the game, with a long-range effort from Rebekah Stott to show for their efforts, but the Oceania side could not retain possession or create much of a meaningful threat in attack.
The victory extends USA's winning streak in the Women's Olympic Football Tournament to 12 games, and they will be eagerly watching upcoming opponents France in their game against Colombia later in the Estadio Mineirao.