United States women’s soccer beat Colombia; World Cup qualifier on deck

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Kelley O’Hara scored in the 77th minute after a long lightning delay, and the Americans beat Colombia 2-0 on Tuesday night in their final tune-up before World Cup qualifying.

The United States extended their unbeaten streak to 69 games at home. Lightning was reported near the Rio Tinto stadium in the 75th minute, leading to a suspension of play for over 30 minutes.

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USA defender Sofia Huerta chases a shot against Colombia during the first half of an international friendly soccer match Tuesday, June 28, 2022 in Sandy, Utah.

USA defender Sofia Huerta chases a shot against Colombia during the first half of an international friendly soccer match Tuesday, June 28, 2022 in Sandy, Utah.
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

It was the second of two games against Colombia as both teams prepare for World Cup qualifying in July. The United States will be looking for a third consecutive World Cup title next summer in Australia and New Zealand.

The Americans took the lead on an own goal from Colombian Manuela Vanegas on a cross from American right-back Sofia Huerta. It was the fifth own goal by an American opponent this year.

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

“The thing to remember is that we have a very good team and we have found a way to score goals in different ways,” USA coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “Even though today I would say wasn’t our best performance, we still managed to score goals and get off the field successfully.”

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USA defender Sofia Huerta, left, striker Alex Morgan, fullback and striker Megan Rapinoe (15) celebrate after a first-half goal against Colombia in an international friendly soccer match on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 in Sandy, Utah.

USA defender Sofia Huerta, left, striker Alex Morgan, fullback and striker Megan Rapinoe (15) celebrate after a first-half goal against Colombia in an international friendly soccer match on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 in Sandy, Utah.
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Carson Pickett started for the United States, becoming the first player with a limb difference to appear for the national team. A defenseman who plays for the North Carolina Courage, Pickett was born without a left hand or forearm.

Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan started after coming off the bench for the team’s opener against Colombia, a 3-0 victory Saturday in Commerce City, Colorado. Morgan had a good chance in the final moments of the first half, but his shot hit the crossbar.

The United States will then travel to Monterrey, Mexico for the CONCACAF W Championship. The top four teams earn World Cup berths and the winner also earns a berth at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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

United States midfielder Ashley Sanchez kicks the ball against Colombia during the first half of an international friendly soccer match, Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in Sandy, Utah.

United States midfielder Ashley Sanchez kicks the ball against Colombia during the first half of an international friendly soccer match, Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in Sandy, Utah.
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

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The American team is due to leave for Mexico on Wednesday. Their W Championship opener against Haiti is scheduled for Monday.

Colombia host the Copa America Femenina from July 8, which will determine CONMEBOL’s three direct qualifiers for the World Cup.

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