• Wednesday Aug 10, 2016

    Colombia battles U.S. women to Olympic draw

    Colombia's Catalina Usme (left) competes with Morgan Brian of the USA during an Women's Olympic Football Tournament match on August 9, 2016, in Manaus, Brazil.

     

    MANAUS, Brazil – Midfielder Catalina Usme struck off a free kick in the 90th minute to lift Colombia to a stunning 2-2 draw with the United States in the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament at the Arena Amazonia on Tuesday.

    Despite dropping points for the first time in the three games, the Americans (2W-1D-0L, 7 points) still finished first in Group G and will play a third-place team on Friday in a quarterfinal match in Brasilia. Depending on the results of the day's latter matches, opponents could be Australia, China or Sweden. 

    Usme successfully connected on a free kick for the second time in the match, drilling a left-footed effort from the right over the outstretched arm of goalkeeper Hope Solo and into the left side of the net.

    Most of the first half was played in the Colombian end, with the defending Olympic champion pouring on the pressure.

    Midfielder Carli Lloyd came close to giving the U.S. the lead in the third minute as her header off a Megan Rapinoe left-wing cross bounded off the crossbar. Megan Rapinoe made her first start since October 2015 since recovering from an ACL injury last December, although she was replaced by Mallory Pugh in the 33rd minute.

    On the South Americans' first penetration into enemy territory, Rapinoe fouled Carolina Arbelaez 24-yards out on the right side. Usme fired the subsequent free kick through the hands and legs of Solo, and into the goal to lift Colombia into a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute.

    The USA equalized in the 41st minute. Christen Press flicked a long pass to an onrushing Lloyd, whose shot was saved by goalkeeper Sandra Sepulveda. The ball bounded off the bar to Crystal Dunn, who slotted it home from five-yards out.

    In the 59th minute, Pugh became the youngest American player to score an Olympic goal to make it 2-1. Dunn’s cross from the left eluded an outstretched Sepulveda and found the 18-year-old on the right side of the box. Pugh glided towards the middle, before snapping in a left-footed shot from 10-yards out.

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