Posted tagged ‘Hope Solo’

US Women’s Soccer Team Advances to Olympic Finals

August 18, 2008

The US Women’s Soccer team is just one win away from a gold medal after defeating Japan this morning, 4-2. This will be the fourth straight Olympic final for the US, which beat Brazil 2-1 in extra time four years ago in Athens and will have the opportunity to repeat this year.

From the Associated Press:

Angela Hucles scored a goal in each half Monday to lead the United States to a 4-2 soccer win over Japan and another Olympic final against Brazil.

The Americans have played in the Olympic gold medal match every time since women’s soccer debuted at the 1996 Atlanta Games, missing the title only in 2000 in Sydney after a loss to Norway.

The U.S. had to rally from an early deficit Monday after Japan’s Shinobu Ohno opened the scoring in the 16th minute, but Hucles netted the equalizer from the six-meter (yard) line in the 41st and Lori Chalupny put the Americans ahead just three minutes later after beating two defenders inside the area in the 44th.

Heather O’Reilly added to the lead with a long-range shot in the 70th, and Hucles closed the scoring for the U.S. in the 80th with a crossing shot that caught Japan goalkeeper Miho Fukumoto by surprise.

Japan got on the board again with Eriko Arakawa in second-half injury time.

The teams played an open match in front of more than 50,000 fans at the Workers’ Stadium, with both sides creating several scoring chances from the beginning.

The US has built a dynasty in women’s soccer but should get a tough test with Brazil. The US lost to them 4-0 in the semifinals of last year’s World Cup, which also was played in China. Thoughts?

US Women’s Soccer Team Advances to Semifinals

August 15, 2008

The US Women’s Soccer Team has defeated Canada 2-1 to advance to the semifinals of the 2008 Olympic soccer tournament. Natasha Kai headed in an overtime goal clinch the victory in a game which featured an extremely long rain delay.

From the Associated Press:

Coach Pia Sundhage’s team now moves on in an attempt to maintain its record of reaching every Olympic final. The U.S. won in 1996 in Atlanta, was runner up to Norway at Sydney 2000, and won again in Athens in 2004.

The technically superior Americans created better chances but that didn’t keep Canada from tying it in the 30th minute.

The Americans kept putting together imaginative moves in the second half, but they tended to try and walk the ball into the net as soon as they got inside Canada’s penalty area.

Extra time was 11 minutes old when the Americans went ahead again. Shannon Boxx sent in a looping cross from the left and Kai, who replaced Heather O’Reilly at the start of the first extra period, got behind the Canadian defense to head past the exposed LeBlanc from five meters.

Two wins away from a gold medal. The competition will get fierce moving forward in the semifinals but the US team has demonstrated that they are capable of repeating as Olympic champions.