Women's soccer kicked off the 2012 London Olympic Games on Wednesday with some of the best teams in the world. After the British women took home the first victory of the Games with a 1-0 victory over New Zealand, the U.S. Team began their quest for Olympic gold against a fiery French team.
The U.S.'s opening game against France at Hampden Park in Glasgow provided a few scares for the Olympic favorites. The U.S. narrowly defeated France in the World Cup semifinal last year, and France came out looking for revenge early in the game.
The French team, consisting of 11 players from club Olympique Lyonnais came out of the gates with patient and creative play while the U.S. struggled in the midfield and pass completion in the early minutes.
Before the U.S. could even get settled in Hampden Park, Amy LePilbet effortlessly headed the ball to Gaëtane Thiney who fired a goal from 25 yards out. Just two minutes later, the U.S was facing an opening disaster after Marie Laure Delie scored to make the score 2-0.
Stunned in the early minutes of the game, the U.S. made some quick changes to climb out of a dangerous hole.
In the 17 minute, Carli Lloyd, the veteran goal scorer replaced Shannon Boxx. In the 19 minutes, Abby Wambach demonstrated her impeccable aerial play as she leaped for a corner from Megan Rapinoe and headed a goal. Abby Wambach picked up the intensity of the game as she pushed her teammates to pressure France.
After the U.S. got on the board, they began playing aggressively and challenged the French defense, which struggled to keep up. Superstar Alex Morgan re-entered the game after a nasty tackle took her out for a few minutes. In the 32 minute, a long ball from Hope Solo found its way to Morgan who sped past the French defense and kicked a bouncing ball past the keeper to the left side of the net.
At halftime, the score was 2-2, and it seemed as though the U.S. had found its rhythm. Both teams came out in the second half looking for an opportunity to strike but in the 56 minute, Rapinoe caught a loose ball and played it to Lloyd who fired with her left foot just outside the box, and blasted the ball to the left side of the net.
With the U.S. now in control, Tobin Heath carried a ball down the left side and found Morgan, who tapped the ball in for an easy goal and 4-2 lead in the 67 minute.
The U.S. displayed a few lapses in defense for the remainder of the game, giving the French squad a few chances to make moves, but ultimately, Solo was there to clean up mistakes.
After falling behind 2-0 early in the game thanks to sloppy play from the U.S. and pressure from the French side, the U.S. managed to find its composure and pick up the intensity. Ultimately, key players such as Rapinoe, Wambach, Morgan, and Lloyd were able to pull the U.S. through with a 4-2 victory.
The U.S. will likely face easier competition with the rest of Group G which includes Colombia and North Korea.