USA vs. North Korea Women's Olympic Soccer: Grades, Twitter Reaction & Analysis
The United States women's soccer team is through to the quarterfinals.
Of course, that was already assured after their second win in group play, but with a 1-0 win over North Korea, the ladies advanced in style (via U.S. Soccer):
The Americans got the scoring started early. In the 25th minute, Alex Morgan played a great ball to the veteran Abby Wambach, who did what she does best: finish with precision.
While they weren't able to tack on another score, the Americans absolutely dominated from that point on. They got off 17 shots (seven on goal) compared to North Korea's four (one on goal). They notched eight corner kicks to North Korea's zero, and they held 63 percent of the possession.
Let's take a look at the United States' most recent domination.
First, the official Twitter account of the U.S. Soccer Women's National Team gives us a look at the opening goal:
Not much new there. If the United States ladies score a goal, you can usually bet that Wambach or Morgan will be involved in it. This time, they were on both ends.
As ESPN's Paul Carr notes, that goal brings Wambach closer to a very prestigious record:
141 career goals for Abby Wambach, 17 shy of Mia Hamm's international record.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) July 31, 2012
By the way, that's in 90 fewer games. At the rate the Americans are dominating the pitch, the 32-year-old might just reach that record before the finals.
Still, while the goal was great and the player who scored is obviously great, was the celebration even better (via Sports Illustrated's Ann Killion)?
Huh? The US just did a crazy celebration,joining hands. In the back Rampone and Solo lay on the ground and did the worm. #USWNT— Ann Killion (@annkillion) July 31, 2012
One word: amazing.
As former women's professional soccer player Carrie Dew points out, the Americans—Morgan and Wambach in particular—are looking quite unstoppable:
Morgan and Wambach are another level right now. Don't think anyone in this tournament will be able to stop them. #USWNT— Carrie Dew (@CarrieDew19) July 31, 2012
It's hard to argue with someone who knows the game as well as Dew, and it's also hard to argue with three wins and eight goals in three matches.
Speaking of three wins in three matches, ESPN's Paul Carr notes that's a first for the American women:
#USWNT wins all 3 Olympic group games for 1st time.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) July 31, 2012
Considering the Americans have won three golds in four Olympic tournaments, it's hard to improve on past performances, but this is quite the good sign for the U.S.
Abby Wambach: A
It's hard to get better than the performance Wambach put forth on Tuesday, but really, what else is new?
The 32-year-old continues to establish herself as arguably the best player in women's U.S. soccer history. Not only did she grab the goal in the 25th minute, she also hit the post once, tallied three more shots on goal and forced two fouls with nice runs on the ball.
Who is more important to the United States' gold medal hopes?
She was incredibly dangerous for the entire 90 minutes.
Alex Morgan: A
And here we have the second half of America's unstoppable duo.
Morgan wasn't able to continue her goal streak, but her assist to Wambach was absolutely beautiful, and her three shots (two on goal) prove she was ready to go from the start.
The 23-year-old superstar, like always, was magnificent with the ball at her feet, constantly going past defenders and always holding possession near the box.
Once again, she was scary good on Tuesday.
Deciding Factor: USA Too Good
There wasn't any one factor besides the United States simply being in another class than North Korea.
The Americans were already guaranteed a spot in the quarters, and you have to give the North Koreans credit for limiting them to just one goal, but the No. 8 team in the world never stood a chance.
This one was never in doubt.
The Americans advance to the quarterfinals, where they take on either New Zealand or Canada on the morning of Friday, August 3, 2012.
Unlike group play, it is one-loss elimination from here on out.
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