Alex Morgan (left) and Megan Rapinoe celebrate. (AP)
The United States' Olympic campaign got off to an inspirational start with the women's soccer team's 4-2 come from behind win against France on Wednesday. It was a rematch of the 2011 Women's World Cup semifinal, which the U.S. won 3-1 before losing to Japan on penalties in the final, and a difficult way to start off the group stage of the tournament for both sides.
France took advantage of some defensive lapses from the U.S. early on, with Gaetane Thiney scoring a great goal from distance in the 11th minute that Hope Solo couldn't keep out, despite getting a hand on it. France got another one past Solo just two minutes later after a bit of pinball in the box to take a 2-0 lead and shock the U.S. into getting over any early Olympic nervous excitement and focusing on the task at hand.
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But as the U.S. showed time after time during last summer's Women's World Cup run, they are quite good at coming from behind. It didn't take them long to do it against France either, as Abby Wambach scored the Americans' first goal with a trademark header off a corner kick in the 18th minute and Alex Morgan displayed her excellent control and finishing touch with her 31st-minute equalizer.
In the second half, the U.S. continued where they left off, taking a 3-2 lead with a Carli Lloyd blast in the 55th minute and sealing the win in the 65th minute when Morgan scored her second goal of the game by putting away a loose ball by the post.
If Abby Wambach was the standout performer for the U.S. in the Women's World Cup (and she was), Alex Morgan seems poised to be the same for this Olympic tournament. Though this is her first appearance in the Olympics, scoring twice in the opening match serves as a continuation of the 23-year-old's prolific scoring rate for the national team and should only be the beginning of what she can do.
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- Abby Wambach
- Alex Morgan