USWNT Beats Colombia To Set Up Gold Cup Semifinal With Canada

The U.S. women’s soccer team defeated Colombia 3-0 in the CONCACAF W Gold Cup on Sunday, setting up a semi-final meeting with Canada.

Lindsey Horan, Jenna Nighswonger and Jaedyn Shaw scored in the quarter-final in Los Angeles, as the U.S. bounced back from their 2-0 defeat against Mexico last weekend.

The USWNT took the lead in the 13th minute when captain Horan scored from a penalty kick after forward Alex Morgan was taken down in the box by Colombia’s Jorelyn Carabali.

Horan coolly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner, as the U.S. found an early lead.

Defender Nighswonger doubled the Americans’ lead in the 22nd minute with a powerful strike from inside the box, finishing a beautiful team move from the four-time world champions.

From just beyond the half line, defender Naomi Girma sent a sensational long ball to Morgan at the edge of the 18-yard-box box and Morgan outmuscled her defender to head the ball into the pathway of Nighswonger, who made no mistake to score her second international goal.

The USWNT went 3-0 up in the stoppage time of the first half when Shaw found the net with her first-time shot after she connected with a fine cross from Rodman, who combined well with Emily Fox. Shaw is now the leading American goal scorer at the tournament with three goals.

At 19 years, 104 days, Shaw is the youngest player ever and just the third teenager all-time to score for the USWNT in the knockout rounds of a competitive tournament joining Kristine Lilly, who scored in the semifinal and final of the 1991 World Cup Qualifying, and Heather O’Reilly, who scored in the semifinal of the 2004 Olympics.

Sunday’s victory also marked a special occasion for goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who earned their 100th USWNT cap, becoming the third U.S. goalkeeper to reach the milestone, joining Hope Solo and Briana Scurry.

Naeher, who won the World Cup twice with the USWNT, made some excellent saves during the match as she kept the Colombian attackers at bay.

“We were disappointed in the result against Mexico. I am proud of our group that we have regrouped in a short period of time… Three quick goals nice and early set the tone for us,” she told CBS Sports in a post-match interview.

“It was not an easy game. Colombia is a great team,” Naeher said about the Colombians, who reached the quarter-finals at the FIFA Women’s World Cup last year.

The U.S. will now face long-time foes Canada in Wednesday’s semi-final, while Brazil will take on Mexico in the other match of the tournament.

This is the first edition of the W Gold Cup, with the tournament featuring total 12 teams. Eight are from the CONCACAF region while Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Paraguay are the non-CONCACAF invitees.

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