By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Striving to win its fourth consecutive Olympics, the USA women’s football (soccer) team faced a disappointing 2-2 tie with Colombia on Tuesday, with star goalkeeper Hope Solo failing to catch a goal in the last minutes of the game. Despite the draw the U.S. team moves into the quarterfinals as one of the favorites to clench the gold medal.
Spectators watched as Colombia’s Catalina Usme swiftly kicked the ball between Solo’s legs 25 minutes into the game. The second goal by Colombia was also Usme’s, at the 44 minute mark of the second half.
Then Crystal Dunn and Mallory Pugh scored for the USA team during the second half, balancing the scoreboard.
Colombia’s coach, Fabian Taborda, called the tie ‘a gigantic victory’ for his country. The result, however, will not help Colombia, which lost its first two games and has already been cut from the quarterfinals.
USA forward Alex Morgan shared on social media, “[The number one] takeaway is we win the group and moving on to the quarters! Not the score we hoped for but we learn and move on!”
As in the two previous Olympic games, spectators provoked American goalkeeper Hope Solo with boos and chants of Zika each time the ball approached her. Solo was severely criticized for making jokes about the Zika outbreak in Brazil on social media, going as far as showing her ‘protective gear’ (beekeeping mask and repellent) for the Games.
Despite the unforeseen draw, the United States remains unbeaten at the Olympics, with two wins and a draw in three games and clenches the first spot of Group G. The team will now play Sweden on Friday in Brasilia.