The U.S. women's national team is onto the World Cup quarterfinals after eliminating Colombia 2–0 in the round of 16, and while that is pleasing for manager Jill Ellis, the way in which the U.S. has reached the final eight is not pleasing to ex-USA star Michelle Akers.
Akers, who has been outspoken before about her differences with Ellis as USA coach, was highly critical of Ellis in a Sirius XM radio interview after the match. The U.S. was stifled by Colombia and its third-string goalkeeper, Catalina Perez, for the first half, but the game changed when Perez was sent off for a tackle on Alex Morgan at the edge of the Colombia box.
Abby Wambach missed the ensuing penalty, but with Colombia down to 10 players, the USA broke through soon after, with Morgan and Carli Lloyd (penalty), scoring the goals that punched the Americans' ticket to a quarterfinal vs. China.
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Akers, who was part of the USA's 1991 and 1999 World Cup-winning teams, is none too pleased with how the USA has gone about its business and expressed concern regarding the bigger picture. Despite not conceding a goal since the 27th minute of the opening match against Australia, the U.S. attack has been dormant, and the favorites have been less than overwhelming in a 0-0 draw with Sweden, a 1-0 win over Nigeria and Monday's result.
Listen to her more complete interview responses here:
Following the interview, she posted on her Facebook page:
USA wins vs Columbia 2-0. Definitely not pretty. Definitely wanted to throw up half the game. But we won. And we are through to the next round...which in a WC is the whole goal. To advance. And at this stage in the game, I don't care how ugly it is as long as we keep finding a way to win. Congrats Team USA. See you Friday vs China #win
The Ellis-led USA returns to action vs China on Friday in a rematch of that 1999 final. It will mark the first time the two have met in a World Cup since that day at the Rose Bowl, where Brandi Chastain's penalty kick sealed the Americans' second World Cup title.