By: McLeod Brown
After defeating Nigeria 1-0 last week to secure the top spot from Group D entering the knockout stage of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the United States women’s national team returns to the pitch today as they face Colombia.
Las Cafeteras enter the knockout stage after finishing third in Group F. However, they shouldn’t be taken lightly as their group featured heavyweights France and England. The team tied Mexico in their first contest before dropping their next two games 2-0 and 2-1 to France and England, respectively.
Colombia and the U.S. will play for the right to advance to the elite eight and a date with China on June 26th. Good news for the United States is that they own a 2-0 all-time record against Colombia. Nevertheless, the South American squad enters the contest as the No. 28 team in the world.
Also, the U.S. should take notice in the fact they barely escaped with a victory over Nigeria. Abby Wambach’s late first-half heroics were the only thing separating the team from a possible draw or loss, which would have altered the entire landscape of the tournament. While the team is still one of the most respected squads left in the field, they have shown some weaknesses up front and in the back end they will need to close out quick if they want to keep playing.
Only three more games stand between the United States and a chance at redemption in the finals. The road to that starts today against Colombia.