Friday, July 27, 2012 at 1:20 AM | | By: Febi
The United States clinched its first victory in the London Games on Wednesday, when its women's soccer team beat France, 4-2, on the first day of Olympic competition.Ranked No. 1 in the world by FIFA, the Americans overcame a 2-0 deficit and showed the crowd at historic Hampden Park why they are favored to win their third consecutive Olympic gold medal.Abby Wambach headed in the Americans' first goal, Carli Lloyd scored the tiebreaker and Alex Morgan had a goal in each half.
The Olympic Games will be ushered in Friday with filmmaker Danny Boyle's much-anticipated Opening Ceremonies, but the soccer schedule got underway two days early to allow sufficient time between games. Six women's games were played Wednesday, while eight men's matches are scheduled for Thursday.We are the first U.S. team to play in the Olympics so there are going to be nerves, U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo said afterward. While Coach Pia Sundhage and some of the American players said the glare from the sun affected Solo in the first half, she said, I will never use that as an excuse.
While the Olympics aren't the crowning competition of men's soccer, in which all but three players on each team must be younger than 23, the Games are at or near the top in prestige on the women's side. Many women don't have top-tier national leagues in their countries — in the United States, Women's Professional Soccer folded earlier this year — so the Olympics and the World Cup are not just the biggest stage but close to the only ones.Wednesday's match was expected to be a challenge for the United States: France had won its past 17 games, and during last summer's World Cup, the teams were tied late before the Americans pulled out a 3-1 victory. Within 15 minutes Wednesday, the French led 2-0 on goals from Gaetane Thiney and Marie-Laure Delie, and the pre-Olympic concerns about the Americans' defense appeared legitimate