The U.S. women's national team advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals with a 2–0 win over 10-woman Colombia in their round-of-16 battle Monday night in Edmonton, Alberta.
Second-half goals from Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd (penalty) paved the way for the Americans, who will meet China Friday night in Ottawa. Germany and France, two of the top three teams in the world, will vie for the other spot in the semifinal on that half of the bracket.
Morgan's goal acted as a sigh of relief for the USA, as Abby Wambach had just missed a penalty moments earlier. Colombia backup goalkeeper Catalina Perez, who started in place of the suspended Sandra Sepulvéda, was sent off for sliding through Morgan at the top of the box. Stefany Castaño came on in her place and guessed incorrectly, but Wambach missed the frame, along with the chance to tie Brazil's Marta for the most goals in Women's World Cup history.
Morgan tallied soon after, though, with a tight-angled effort that Castaño got a hand to but couldn't keep out of her net in the 53rd minute.
With Colombia down to 10 players, the U.S. kept the pressure up, and Megan Rapinoe drew a second penalty. Lloyd, not Wambach, stepped to the spot and buried her 66th-minute chance, along with Las Cafeteras' chances of a comeback.
Colombia had been talking a big game in recent days, but the South American side had showed it can walk the walk during the competition, springing a surprise upset of France in the group stage. It continued to do so in the opening half against the favored USA. Perez made three saves, denying Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach in the opening 45.
On the save on Heath, Perez yielded a rebound, but Wambach was offside prior to stabbing home the would-be goal.
Relying on the strength of its stout defense, the U.S. extended its shutout streak to 333 minutes, but it wasn't all good news for Jill Ellis's side. The U.S. had two players sitting on yellow cards entering the match receive their second of the tournament, with midfielders Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday going into the book and thus being ineligible for the quarterfinals.
Here's how the match unfolded:
DEFENDERS: Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS: Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
GOALKEEPERS: Sandra Sepúlveda (Formas Intimas), Stefany Castaño (Graceland University), Catalina Pérez (University of Miami)
DEFENDERS: Angela Clavijo (Club Kamatsa), Nataly Arias (Atlanta Silverbacks), Carolina Arias (Palmiranas), Natalia Gaitán (Gol Star), Lina Granados (Vanderbilt)
MIDFIEDLERS: Carlonia Arbeláez (Formas Intimas), Diana Ospina (Formas Intimas), Mildrey Pineda (Palimranas), Yoreli Rincón (Torres Calcio), Catalina Usme (Formas Intimas), Daniela Montoya (Formas Intimas), Leicy Santos (Club Besser), Isabella Echeverri (University of Toledo)
FORWARDS: Lady Andrade (Palmiranas), Tatiana Ariza (Gol Star), Yisela Cuesta (Formas Intimas), Laura Cosme (Palmiranas), Manuela González (Palmiranas), Ingrid Vidal (Palmiranas), Oriánica Velásquez (Gol Star)