Aug 3, 2012; Newcastle, United Kingdom; USA forward Abby Wambach (14) celebrates after a goal by forward Sydney Leroux (npt pictured) in the second half against New Zealand during the women's quarterfinal match during the London 2012 Olympic Games at St James' Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
On the strength of goals by Abby Wambach and Sydney Leroux, the United States women's national team defeated New Zealand 2-0 and will move on to the Olympic Football tournament semi-final match to be played on August 6th. They will face the winner of Great Britain vs. Canada to be played later today.
Alex Morgan was able to get behind the New Zealand defense early and often, and she continues to pair well with Abby Wambach. It was Morgan who sent in the cross to Wambach from the left side of the box, with Wambach sliding in to put the United States up 1-0 in the 27'. It was Wambach's 142 international goal.
New Zealand was able to keep the match close, as finishing was an issue for the United States. It remained 1-0 all the way past the eighty minute mark. Alex Morgan was guilty of failing to convert easy chances, and New Zealand put close pressure on the US which led to a good deal of contact.
Sydney Leroux came on for Alex Morgan, and she almost immediately put the US up 2-0. She showed the strength to stay up past a defender's tackle, and then slotted the ball through the New Zealand goalkeeper's legs to secure the US' advance into the next round.
Brazil and Japan are currently battling for the right to face France in the other semi-final, with the World Cup winners up 1-0 on Brazil. The US will face the winner of Canada and host Great Britain, which will kick off later today.