Sun Sentinel Broward Edition
Morgan, Lloyd send US to Cup quarterfinals
EDMONTON, Alberta — Colombia wanted respect. The U.S. wanted a win.
And both got at least some of what they were looking for Monday, with the Americans surviving their stiffest test of the Women’s World Cup to beat the short-handed Colombians, 2-0, before a crowd of 19,412 at Commonwealth Stadium.
The second-half goals, which came from Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd, send the U.S. on to the tournament quarterfinals, where it will meet China on Friday in Ottawa.
Colombia, meanwhile, which played the second half with just10 players, goes home. But not before making a huge statement in this World Cup by beating thirdranked France in group play, then giving the secondranked U.S. all it could handle for more than an hour.
The U.S. came into the game with a huge edge in both age and experience. Fifteen players on the U.S. roster have played in two or more World Cups; as a nation Colombia was playing in the tournament for just the second time. And while the U.S. had just one starter — defender Julie Johnson — who was born in the 1990s, Colombia had eight.
Despite that Colombia, which had not beaten — or even scored upon — the U.S. in two previous meetings made clear it wasn’t intimidated, with midfielder Lady Andrade accusing the Americans of belittling her team, then predicting a win.
And for a while it looked as if her teammates might made good on that boast.
Goalkeeper Catalina Perez, a 20-year from Boca Raton who attends the University of Miami, kept the game even in the first half. Making her first World Cup start in place of regular Sandra Sepulveda, who was suspended with two yellow cards, Perez was brilliant in the opening 45 minutes, making three saves.
She apparently couldn’t wait to get back on the field for the second half, emerging from the tunnel a full minute ahead of her teammates. But she didn’t stay there long, earning a red card for a dangerous tackle on Alex Morgan in the 47th minute, leaving Colombia with10 players for the rest of the match.
That play also gave the U.S. a penalty shot against new keeper Stefany Castano but Abby Wambach shanked it, missing the net by several feet to keep the game scoreless.
Morgan didn’t miss the net six minutes later, though, banking a shot from the edge of the box off Castano’s hand at the near post for her first goal of this World Cup, giving the U.S. the only score it would need.
Lloyd added an insurance goal just the same, converting a penalty kick in the 66th minute by pushing a rightfooted shot comfortably into the net after Colombia’s Angela Clavijo tripped Megan Rapinoe inside the 18-yard box.