Glasgow, Scotland – The United States booked a place in the quarterfinals of the women's soccer competition on Saturday by dispatching Colombia, 3-0, in Group G play.
The Americans have claimed six points from their first two matches after a 4-2 triumph against France on the opening day of the tournament, while Colombia has lost its first two contests without scoring a goal.
Megan Rapinoe opened the scoring for the U.S. in the 33rd minute before the Americans turned up the pressure in the second half with goals from Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd.
"I didn't quite see all the things I wanted to see after the first game," said United States head coach Pia Sundhage. "In the first half the speed of play could have been better, but although it wasn't the best game, we scored three goals and got three points so that is the most important thing."
The opening goal came after a tight first 30 minutes and it loosened up the game a bit after Rapinoe beat goalkeeper Sandra Sepulveda with a well-placed chip from 20 yards that just managed to slip under the crossbar.
Rapinoe nearly doubled the lead before halftime when she redirected a ball on target that was cleared off the goal line by a Colombia defender.
But the second 45 minutes belonged to the U.S. with Tobin Heath setting up a first-time finish for Wambach from inside the penalty area with a pinpoint pass.
Wambach struck the crossbar a few minutes later as the Americans continued to pressure the Colombia defense, and it paid off shortly after that as Rapinoe laid off a pass to Lloyd, who burst through the middle of the back line to slot a shot inside the left post.
"Lloyd's goal was a beautiful move and Megan played a big part in that. She makes good decisions and the way she is playing she is having a huge impact," Sundhage said of Rapinoe. She has had two good games."
The U.S. will face North Korea in its final game of group play before moving on to the knockout round, while Colombia finishes up its tournament against France.
The French bounced back from their defeat against the Americans in a big way on Saturday, handing North Korea a 5-0 defeat that puts France in position to secure a place in the knockout round with a win over Colombia.
Canada put itself in position to advance beyond the group stage after Christine Sinclair scored a pair of second-half goals in a 3-0 win over South Africa in Group F play on Saturday.
Following a 2-1 defeat against Japan on the opening day, Canada needed to take three points from its game against South Africa, and the Canadians got off to a great start when Melissa Tancredi put them in front after seven minutes.
Canada was in control for much of the game but it wasn't until Sinclair's goal in the 58th minute that the result was secure.
"On some days there's just no stopping Christine," said Canada coach John Herdman. "But the fact that Melissa scores as well takes some of the weight off Christine's shoulders. It shows that there's more to us than just Christine. We depended on her for too long."
The Canadian captain then added another tally in the last five minutes to seal the win, which puts the team one point behind both Sweden and Japan in Group F after those two sides played to a 0-0 draw on Saturday.
Canada will face Sweden on July 31 with a chance to clinch a place in the next round with a win.
Brazil coasted to a 5-0 victory against Cameroon in its opening match, but found things to be much more difficult against New Zealand on Saturday.
There weren't many chances for either side as New Zealand did a good job in frustrating Brazil. However, Cristiane's volley in the 86th minute rescued a 1-0 win for the South Americans, who remain on top of Group E along with Great Britain, which topped Cameroon, 3-0 on Saturday behind goals from Casey Stoney, Jill Scott and Stephanie Houghton.
Those results mean that both Brazil and Great Britain have reached the quarterfinals and the two sides will face each other on July 31 to determine the winner of Group E.