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Monday, December 05, 2022

American Women beat Colombia 2-0; world cup qualifying next

American Women beat Colombia 2-0;  world cup qualifying next

SANDY, Utah ( Associated Press) — Kelly O’Hara scored in the 77th minute after a prolonged power delay, and the American women beat Colombia 2-0 on Tuesday night in their final tuneup before World Cup qualifying.

The United States extended its unbeaten streak to 69 games on home soil. Lightning was reported near the Rio Tinto stadium in the 75th minute, forcing the game to be postponed for more than 30 minutes.

It was the second of two matches against Colombia as both teams prepare for World Cup qualifying in July. The US will try for a third consecutive World Cup title in Australia and New Zealand next summer.

The Americans went ahead on their goal from Colombia’s Manuela Venegas on a cross from Sofia Huerta, just behind the Americans. It was the American rival’s own fifth goal this year.

O’Hara, a veteran defender, scored his third international goal and his first since 2016.

“The result was that we have a very good team and we found a way to hit the target in different ways,” said American coach Vlatko Andonovsky. “Even though today I would say it wasn’t our best performance, we still managed to score and get off the field successfully.”

Carson Pickett debuted for the United States, becoming the first player to appear for the national team. A defender who plays for the North Carolina Courage, Pickett was born without a left hand and forearm.

Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan start after getting off the bench for the team’s first game against Columbia, a 3-0 win on Saturday in Commerce City, Colorado. Morgan had a good chance in the weak moments of the first half, but his shot went over the crossbar.

The United States will next move to Monterey, Mexico for the CONCACAF W Championship. The top four teams earn berths in the World Cup, and the winner also gets a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“It was the type of game we’re most likely to face, or the type of opponent most likely we’re going to face at the CONCACAF Championship,” Andonowski said of Tuesday’s friendly. “It was physical and very tight. It was good for us to prepare.”

The US team will leave for Mexico on Wednesday. Their W Championship opener against Haiti is scheduled for Monday.

Colombia hosts the Copa América Femenina, starting on 8 July, which will determine CONMEBOL’s three direct qualifiers for the World Cup.

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More Associated Press Soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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