Colombia stunned the U.S. Women’s National Team with a game-tying goal in the final minutes of their match Tuesday night that earned them a 2-2 draw with the defending World Cup champions. The result, while disappointing for the Americans, was still enough for the USWNT to finish on top of the tournament’s Group G and advance to the Olympic quarterfinals on Friday.
The USWNT dominated the early stages of the match but fell behind less than a half-hour in, when goalkeeper Hope Solo, whose outstanding performance helped the Americans beat France over the weekend, allowed a free kick from Colombia’s Catalina Usme to slip through her legs and into the net.
Still, it looked like the Americans would steal the win after Crystal Dunn and Mallory Pugh, both playing in their first Olympic Games, each scored goals to put the USWNT back ahead.
Dunn’s goal came just before the half, when she beat Colombia’s defenders to a rebound off a shot from Carli Lloyd that hit off the crossbar. It was the 11th goal of the year for Dunn, who barely missed the roster for the USWNT’s World Cup victory last summer in Canada, and her first at a major tournament.
Pugh, the 18-year-old phenom who entered the match as a substitute, notched her first Olympic goal in the second half, when she collected Dunn’s cross, eluded several defenders in front of goal, and put the USWNT ahead 2-1.
But with just minutes remaining in the match, Usme buried another curling free kick into the back of Solo’s net, earning the Colombians the draw.
It won’t mean much for the Olympics ― Colombia finished fourth in the group and is eliminated. But it will go down as an unforgettable performance for a team that is still a relative newcomer to women’s international soccer and lost 7-0 to the USWNT just a few months ago.
The Americans, meanwhile, will turn their attention to the tournament’s knockout stages, the next step toward a fourth consecutive gold medal. As group winners, they will face another group’s third-place finisher ― Sweden ― in Brasilia on Friday at noon ET.
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