BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (Aug. 6, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team took control of Group G with a 1-0 defeat of France thanks to Carli Lloyd’s 63rd minute game-winning goal and another strong defensive performance at Mineirão Stadium in its second match of the 2016 Olympic Games.
In a battle between the two favorites to advance from Group G, the USA edged France on Lloyd’s opportunistic goal that was a product of a nice bit of offensive play from the U.S. that culminated in Tobin Heath’s shot being saved and then rebounding off the left post into Lloyd’s path and the FIFA World Player of the Year made no mistake in putting the chance away to give the USA an important three points.
Defensively, the USA was solid again as Whitney Engen made her Olympic debut in place of the injured Julie Johnston who was held out to protect a sore groin. Engen and the defense kept France from creating much from the run of play, but when Les Bleues did break through, U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, who earned her 200th cap today, was on hand to make a range of crucial saves throughout the match.
The USA now leads Group G (2-0-0; 6pts) with France (1-1-0; 3pts) in second place, although, New Zealand (0-1-0; 0pts) and Colombia (0-1-0; 0pts) play later tonight. The USA could qualify for the tournament Quarterfinals depending on the result of the day’s later game between New Zealand and Colombia. A New Zealand win or draw between the Football Ferns and Colombia would send the U.S. through to the next round. The U.S. will finish group play vs. Colombia on Tuesday at Amazônia Arena in Manaus (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBC Universo).
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Carli Lloyd (Tobin Heath), 63rd minute: Kelley O’Hara sent a long ball into the heart of the France defense that fell to the feet of Morgan Brian at the top of the penalty area. As defenders closed in, Brian passed to Heath who was making a run into the left side of the box. Heath’s initial left-footed shot from eight yards out was pushed onto the post by France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi, but the ball rebounded off the left post across the front of the unprotected goal, setting up perfectly for U.S. captain Carli Lloyd to tap the ball across the line for the game-winner. USA 1, FRA 0 (SEE GOAL) FINAL
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Hope Solo, 16th minute: France won a free kick on the right wing 35 yards from goal that Louisa Cadamuro swung into the penalty area for France captain Wendie Renard to head a powerful shot on goal. The ball looked to be headed just beneath the woodwork until Solo tipped the shot onto the crossbar with a strong left handed save.
FRA – Sarah Bouhaddi, 30th minute: Carli Lloyd won the USA a free kick in excellent attacking position just outside the center of the France penalty area. Heath stepped up and curled the free kick over the France wall and toward the center of goal, but Bouhaddi made a leaping save to tip the shot over the bar and deny Heath.
USA – Hope Solo, 40th minute: Amedine Henry won the ball near the center stripe and charged into the USA’s defensive third, drawing defenders before playing a through ball to Marie Laure Delie, who held off her defender and snapped a shot on goal. However, Solo had read the play and charged out to cut down the angle and smother the shot from close range.
Next on the Schedule: The U.S. WNT finishes Group G play at the 2016 Olympic Games against Colombia at Amazônia Arena in Manaus on Aug. 9 (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBC Universo).
- The USA improves to 16-0-1 in 2016. The team has scored 55 goals and tallied 15 shutouts while allowing just four goals.
- The WNT is 17-1-2 all-time against France, outscoring Les Bleues 52-14 in 20 matches.
- This is the second consecutive Olympics in which the U.S. and France have met with the USA winning the only previous Olympic meeting between the two nations 4-2 at London 2012.
- Carli Lloyd’s goal was the 90th of her career and eighth Olympic goal for the USA, pushing her to second all-time behind Abby Wambach's 10 Olympic tallies.
- Lloyd has now hit double-figures in goals scored in 2016 (10 goals); it is the fourth calendar year – and third in a row – that she's recorded 10 or more goals (2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016)
- Hope Solo continued to earn accolades, making her 200th career international appearance for the USA. She is the only goalkeeper to ever reach that appearance mark in international play.
- The game marks the first Olympic start for Crystal Dunn and Whitney Engen as well as their first at a senior level world championship tournament.
- The defense of Solo, Kelley O’Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn, Engen and Meghan Klingenberg started together for the first time in 2016.
- The USA has now kept a clean sheet in its first two Olympic matches for the third time in team history. It also did so at the 2000 and 2012 Olympic Games.
- Lloyd earned her 226th cap and 14th in the Olympics, tied with Solo for the most Olympic appearances on the team. She is the most-capped player at the 2016 Olympic Football tournament.
- Malory Pugh and Julie Johnston were held out of the match due to injury concerns; Pugh sustained a knock to her ankle in the USA’s match vs. Australia, while Johnston’s exclusion was precautionary due to groin soreness.
- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –
U.S. Women’s National Team vs. France
Date: Aug. 6, 2016
Competition: 2016 Olympic Games; Group G
Venue: Mineirao; Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET (5 p.m. local)
Weather: 85 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
FRA 0 0 0
USA – Carli Lloyd (Tobin Heath) 63rd minute
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Whitney Engen, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 7-Meghan Klingenberg (12-Christen Press, 90); 3-Allie Long, 14-Morgan Brian, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.) (9-Lindsey Horan, 82); 16-Crystal Dunn (11-Ali Krieger, 70), 13-Alex Morgan, 17-Tobin Heath
Subs not used: 2-Mallory Pugh, 8-Julie Johnston, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 18-Alyssa Naeher
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
FRA: 16-Sarah Bouhaddi; 8-Jessica Houara, 3-Wendie Renard (capt.), 2-Griedge Mbock Bathy, 7-Amel Majri; 10-Camille Abily (17-Kheira Hamraoui, 83),
6-Amandine Henry, 15-Elise Bussaglia; 13-Kadidiatou Diani, 18-Marie-Laure Delie (11-Claire Lavogez, 86), 14-Louisa Cadamuro (12-Elodie Thomis, 70)
Subs not used: 1-Meline Gerard, 4-Sakina Karchaoui, 5-Sabrina Delannoy, 9-Eugenie Le Sommer
Head Coach: Philippe Bergeroo
Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 7 / 14
Shots on Goal: 3 / 5
Saves: 5 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 8
Fouls: 8 / 18
Offside: 4 / 4
USA – Crystal Dunn (caution) 68th minute
FRA – Griedge Mbock Bathy (caution) 82
Referee: Claudia Umpierrez (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Loreta Toloza(CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Neuza Back (BRA)
Fourth Official: Maria Carvajal (CHI)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Allie Long