The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated New Zealand 2-0 in the opening bout of Group G play in the 2016 Olympic Women’s soccer tournament. Team USA is now 15-0-1 in 2016, and 12-1-1 all-time against New Zealand outscoring them 49-5. This was the third consecutive time that the U.S. and New Zealand have squared off in the Olympics with the U.S. winning all three bouts.
Carli Lloyd scored the first goal of the game for the U.S. in the ninth minute. With the assistance of Becky Sauerbrunn and Tobin Heath, Lloyd was able move between two defenders and drill the ball past the New Zealander goalkeeper to give the U.S. an early lead. This was Lloyd’s 89th career international goal, and her seventh Olympic goal for the USA, drawing her close to Abby Wambach’s record of 10 Olympic goals. She also earned her 225th cap and 13th in the Olympics, and she’s now tied with teammate Hope Solo for most caps on the team.
Alex Morgan scored the second goal for Team USA just 34 seconds into the second half. With an assist from Morgan Brian and Tobin Heath, Morgan struck a left-footed shot into the net to increase the lead 2-0, earning her fifth Olympic goal and 68th overall. Morgan is now tied with Mia Hamm and Tiffany Milbrett for third behind Lloyd and Wambach on the U.S.’s Olympic goals-scored list.
Team USA was in control of this game as they had 64 percent of ball possession and they went the entire game without getting any yellow cards. U.S. goal keeper Hope Solo didn’t even have a save in this game due to New Zealand not being able to register any shots-on-goal. New Zealand had their issues on offense, but on defense they were able to challenge the American offense by only allowing two goals and registering two saves. The biggest hiccup for New Zealand must be the lack of being able to take away the ball away.
The U.S. WNT’s next game will be on Saturday. They will take on France, whose coming off a 4-0 win against Colombia.
Team USA will have their work cut out for them because France is a strong team.