For the first two exhibition matches played in preparation for the 2022 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, which would also serve as qualifications for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 and the 2024 Olympics, the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) defeated Colombia by a score of 3-0.
The Americans ruled the first half of the match, taking twelve shots. Three were on goal and controlling possession, restricting Colombia from getting a single shot off on goalkeeper Casey Murphy. However, the Colombians fought hard to keep the United States out of the attacking third by playing five at the back and dropping deep.
This year, the United States is 3-0 in friendlies, outscoring their adversaries 21-1, and they are 8-0-1 against Colombia throughout all competitions. The Colombians were undefeated in their past seven friendlies, recording three victories and four ties.
Highlights of the Match
During the first half, USWNT was led by some of its best players, including Sophia Smith and Mallory Pugh, who combined for five shots. Moreover, the U.S. was given a penalty kick after the Colombian player Carolina Arias brought down Smith inside the penalty area.
Lindsey Horan’s penalty shot attempt was the best chance the team had to score, even though they had other opportunities. However, goalkeeper Catalina Perez was able to save Horan’s shot that was directed toward the bottom right corner of the goal.
Morgan and Ashley Sanchez were substituted for Ashley Hatch and Horan, respectively, as the United States began the second half. Later, the substitutions proved successful as Sanchez displayed some outstanding individual skills just as before Smith cracked the tie in the 54th minute, wherein she scored the game-winning goal off an excellent through ball from Rose Lavelle.
Six minutes later, Lavelle and Smith connected once more in the sixty minutes of the match, which resulted in Smith scoring her second goal. It happened when Lavelle pushed a turnover close to the midfield and managed to play a perfect pass behind the defense again and into Smith’s track.
Smith had excellent possession of the ball and ended the goal with agility from a distance of 13 yards. Nine minutes later, Alex Morgan, who’d already entered the game at halftime as a substitute, was fouled within the penalty area after Arias brought her down as she was receiving a pass from Hatch, allowing Lavelle to take the penalty kick.
Yet again, Perez accomplished another outstanding save, this time on Lavelle, who attempted to place the ball in the lower left corner. After the action died down, Megan Rapinoe’s corner kick resulted in Taylor Kornieck’s first goal as a USWNT member, which she managed to score in the 90th minute with a header.
Despite the shaky first half, some of the younger players on the American team turned in a strong performance in the second half, which was capped off by Kornieck’s first goal in her debut with the national team. Given the team’s stellar performance, USWNT’s soccer odds have made them the favorite on the 90-minute Moneyline.
Why support the USWNT?
Since losing 3-1 to France in January 2019, the United States has gone undefeated in 32 successive friendlies, composing 28 victories and four draws. During the undefeated streak, the Americans have outplayed their opponents 123 to 9 and recorded 26 shutouts. In addition, five USWNT players have scored multiple goals from this year’s exhibition matches, with team’s forward Sophia Smith setting the pace with five.
Smith scored a hat-trick for the Americans in their 9-1 victory over Uzbekistan last April, and she scored twice in their victory over Colombia in Colorado. Hardly four other players in the last 15 years have reached that amount of goals faster than she has in her first 16 matches, wherein she garnered six goals with the national team.
Not to mention Taylor Kornieck, who also scored in a match against Colombia, becoming the twenty-second player in the history of USWNT to have been able to obtain a score in her first appearance with the team.
Why support Colombia?
According to FIFA’s women’s rankings, Colombia ranks 28th globally. Before this two-game series with the United States, Colombia had pulled back its four previous international exhibitions, two against Argentina and two against Venezuela.
Moreover, before heading back home to contend in the CONMEBOL Copa America Femenina for a spot in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, the Colombian women’s national team will participate in its final exhibition match.
Daniela Montoya, Colombia’s team captain and striker Catalina Usme led the team to have scored a goal of 20 in 30 international games. Usme, 32, has scored one goal in four friendly matches this season, compared to seven goals in six such games in 2021.
Before Colombia’s loss to the USWNT, the team had gone seven matches without losing. After claiming two wins against Uruguay and one from Chile in February, the team drew twice with Argentina. During their undefeated streak, the Colombians scored ten goals and recorded four shutouts.
The victory extended the United States’ home undefeated run to 68 games, including 61 victories and seven draws. The USWNT are poised for the upcoming women football tournaments in 2022. During this winning streak, the Americans have outscored its foes 258-28, including 128-4 in its last 30 home games. With such a performance, you can expect more from them in the 2022 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, serving as the qualification for the 2023 World Cup.