August 3, 2016
RUNNING IN RIO
USWNT opens Olympics with 2-0 win
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil---Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan each scored as the United State Women's National Team opened the 2016 Rio de Janiero Olympics with a 2-0 win over New Zealand at Mineirão Stadium Wednesday.
|Carli Lloyd opened the scoring for the United States at the Rio Olympics.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The win was the 12th straight in Olympic play for the United States, with goalkeeper Hope Solo posting her 101st career shutout.
After winning the World Cup last year, the United States is looking to become the first team to win back to back titles at both the World Cup and Olympic games. The Americans are also looking for their fourth straight Olympic Gold Medal, having been to every final since the Women's competition was inaugurated in 1996 (Gold 1996, Silver 2000, Gold 2004, 2008, 2012).
The U.S. had a quick chance to take the lead on a free kick in the 6th minute. Lloyd served the ball from the right edge of the box into the area, but Alex Morgan sent her header over the bar.
It only took three more minutes for the U.S. to breakthrough, this time with Lloyd picking up from where she left off in last year's World Cup. Tobin Heath sent a cross from the left corner of the box toward the far post. Lloyd got under it and looped a header just inside the left post.
Alex Morgan made it 2-0 in the 46th minute. Morgan Brian sent a short ball in the area to Morgan, who finished perfectly inside the left post from about 12 yards out.
The U.S. was forced to make a change early in the second half, when Crystal Dunn came on for Mallory Pugh. Pugh was injured and tended to in the first half, while the U.S. played shorthanded. She returned to the action, but appeared to be limping when she was subbed off. U.S. coach Jill Ellis used her second sub in the 64th minute, bringing in Lindsey Horan to replace Brian, the brought in Christen Press to replace Morgan in the 81st minute.
Chances for the Americans were tough to come by, with the White Ferns playing a high line and forcing the U.S. to try from distance. In the 60th minute, after a nice build up, Tobin Heath sent a shot sailing over the bar. Four minutes later, Heath broke in, but fouled from behind by Ria Percival just at the edge of the area. The New Zealander got a yellow, and Lloyd sent a rising free kick over the bar.
Just moments after entering the game, Press played a ball from the right side near the end line to the opposite side of the field for Heath, but her close range shot went wide.
Dunn made a great run on the right side on the 89th minute, before crossing the ball to Heath, who was stopped by goalkeeper Erin Nayler.
The USWNT will next face France on Saturday at 4pm ET.