U.S. rallies to stun France

 

Women's soccer: United States 4, France 2

 
 
 
 
Carli Lloyd of the U.S. (R) celebrates with teammate Amy Le Peilbet (2L) after scoring her team's third goal during a group G Olympic Women's football match between the U.S. and France at Hampden Park in Glasgow on July 25, 2012.
 
 

Carli Lloyd of the U.S. (R) celebrates with teammate Amy Le Peilbet (2L) after scoring her team's third goal during a group G Olympic Women's football match between the U.S. and France at Hampden Park in Glasgow on July 25, 2012.

Photograph by: Graham Stuart, AFP/Getty Images

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Glasgow, Scotland (Sports Network) - The 2012 women's Olympic soccer tournament got off to a flying start in Group G play on Wednesday as the United States came from two goals down to secure a 4-2 victory over France at Hampden Park.

The Americans went down 2-0 in the opening 15 minutes after goals from Gaetane Thiney and Marie-Laure Delie. But the U.S. regrouped and was back on level terms by halftime as Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan each scored to make it 2-2.

And the second 45 minutes belonged to the Americans, with Carli Lloyd and Morgan each finding the net to give their team three points.

"There's nothing that's going to stop us," said Wambach following the match. "Two goals, people getting injured, there's one thing that we have on our mind and it's gold."

The U.S. will now face Colombia in its second match in Group G on Saturday, while France tries to rebound against North Korea.

It was a surprisingly sloppy start for the Americans defensively as Thiney picked up a loose ball 30 yards from goal and had room to unleash a shot that goalkeeper Hope Solo could only get a hand to before it settled into the back of the net.

The French made it 2-0 a few minutes later when a scramble inside the area ended with Delie firing home a first-time shot from 12 yards.

Wambach started the comeback in the 19th minute by heading home Megan Rapinoe's corner kick, and Morgan leveled the match shortly after the half- hour mark when she lobbed a flicked header from Wambach over goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi.

The momentum carried over into the second half and the U.S. went in front in the 56th minute when Rapinoe laid a ball off for Lloyd, who hammered it past Bouhaddi from 20 yards.

France was clearly on the back foot and had no answer as Morgan notched her second goal of the contest to put it away.

Tobin Heath did well to find space on the left wing and carry the ball into the area, where she drove a low cross through traffic to an open Morgan at the back post for a simple tap in.

"It was very difficult," France midfielder Camille Abily said after her side squandered a two-goal lead, "but we need to be confident because we still have two more games in the group."

World Cup champions Japan got off to a strong start in Group F play with a 2-1 win over Canada.

The Japanese scored first in the 33rd minute with Nahomi Kawasumi finding the net from a tight angle, while Aya Miyama scored just before halftime with a header to double Japan's lead.

Melissa Tancredi pulled a goal back for Canada 10 minutes into the second half, but Japan did well to see the game out and will face Sweden on July 28 in its next match, while Canada takes on South Africa.

"When we got the goal back we thought it would give us a chance," said Canada's Christine Sinclair.

"But they pass the ball so well it is difficult to get it off them."

Great Britain opened the tournament by topping New Zealand, 1-0, in Group E competition.

The difference in a tight game arrived in the 64th minute when Stephanie Houghton scored from inside the penalty area to hand the hosts three points.

"It was something special and I'm sure my family are really proud," said Houghton of her winning goal. "I don't think it will sink in for a while. I'm just glad it got us the win."

 
 
 
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Carli Lloyd of the U.S. (R) celebrates with teammate Amy Le Peilbet (2L) after scoring her team's third goal during a group G Olympic Women's football match between the U.S. and France at Hampden Park in Glasgow on July 25, 2012.
 

Carli Lloyd of the U.S. (R) celebrates with teammate Amy Le Peilbet (2L) after scoring her team's third goal during a group G Olympic Women's football match between the U.S. and France at Hampden Park in Glasgow on July 25, 2012.

Photograph by: Graham Stuart, AFP/Getty Images

 
Carli Lloyd of the U.S. (R) celebrates with teammate Amy Le Peilbet (2L) after scoring her team's third goal during a group G Olympic Women's football match between the U.S. and France at Hampden Park in Glasgow on July 25, 2012.
A general view of the Hampden Park Stadium on July 25, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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