Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

U.S. soccer starts gold hunt with win

Alex Morgan, second from right, is engulfed by teammates after scoring in a 2-0 win over New Zealand.

Associated Press

Alex Morgan, second from right, is engulfed by teammates after scoring in a 2-0 win over New Zealand.

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan scored in each half as the U.S. women's soccer team defeated New Zealand 2-0 in its Olympic debut Wednesday, getting off to a solid start in its attempt to win a fourth straight gold medal.

Lloyd put the Americans ahead with a header in the ninth minute, and Morgan added to the lead with a low shot from inside the area less than a minute into the second half at Mineirao Stadium.

"That was the best way we could have started," said Tobin Heath, who made the cross that led to Lloyd's goal. "We came out with a lot of energy and a lot of determination. I think in that regards we put our best foot forward and got that goal, and I think that helped propel us throughout the game."

The United States dominated from the start.

"I was really pleased that we got the clean sheet," U.S. coach Jill Ellis said. "I thought we moved the ball against a very determined team."

The Olympic tournament is the first major competition for the United States since the retirement of key players Abby Wambach — the career international scoring leader for women and men — and Lauren Holiday after last year's World Cup win.

In addition to playing with a younger team, the United States has players recovering from injuries, including regular starter Megan Rapinoe, who was on the bench the entire match.

The United States on Saturday faces France, which opened with a 4-0 win over Colombia.

'Zika' chants for Solo: U.S. goalie Hope Solo said she was not bothered by fans who chanted "Zika, Zika" at her during the game. The crowd of nearly 10,000 at the 60,000-capacity stadium jeered her over Twitter posts she had made about the precautions she was taking against the virus that has scared many athletes ahead of the Games.

"I'm glad the fans had fun," Solo said. "And if they had fun at my expense, more power to them."

Solo upset some Brazilians before coming to the Olympics by tweeting a photo of herself wearing a hat with mosquito netting. She also posted a photo of dozens of packs of mosquito repellent that she was packing for her trip to Brazil.

Solo said she didn't realize the fans were chanting "Zika" and thought they were yelling a homophobic slur that local teams sometimes use against goalkeepers at goal kicks. Some fans yelled the slur early in the game, but later the majority of the crowd started with the "Zika" chant.

Other games: Canada made Olympic history in its opener by taking only 20 seconds to score in a 2-0 win over Australia and then losing a player to a red card 19 minutes in at Sao Paulo. Janine Beckie's goal was the fastest ever at the Olympics, nine seconds faster than Oribe Peralta's strike for Mexico in the men's gold-medal match against Brazil four years ago. Shelina Zadorsky was sent off for dragging down Australia's Michelle Heyman on her way to goal. … In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil topped China 3-0 and Sweden beat South Africa 1-0.

U.S. soccer starts gold hunt with win 08/03/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 11:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Crosstown rivals Bloomingdale-Newsome kick off season

    Footballpreps

    LITHIA — In a week filled with area football rivalries, there is a game on the east side of Hillsborough County — Bloomingdale vs. Newsome — that has matured into a classic crosstown battle, complete with classic cliches.

    Bloomingdale wide receiver Ed Amos charges through a drill a few days before the big rivalry game against Newsome on Friday night.
  2. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Several key players still sidelined

    Bucs

    Greg Auman gives an injury update, with several key players still sidelined from practice three days before the Bucs play the Cleveland Browns in Tampa, and a full recap of your favorite scenes from Tuesday …

    Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans was held out of practice Wednesday at One Buc Place. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]
  3. Playoff ambitions evident in opener for Zephyrhills, Wiregrass Ranch

    Footballpreps

    WESLEY CHAPEL — A new football season in Pasco County begins Friday night, but this one promises to be like none before it — with more math than ever. A new playoff system emphasizes schedule strength, making non-district tilts particularly important.

    Wiregrass Ranch wide receiver Jordan Miner catches a pass in spring practice at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel on Monday, May 1, 2017.
  4. Dirk Koetter says Bucs used team meeting to discuss social issues

    Bucs

    Four days before their preseason home opener against the Cleveland Browns, which had 12 players not stand for the national anthem prior to their last game, the Bucs used their team meeting to discuss social issues that might have led to that demonstration, coach Dirk Koetter said.

    "The main thing is we have to respect everybody's opinion," Dirk Koetter said, "because everybody is not going to agree." [AP photo]
  5. Rookie tight end Antony Auclair making case to stick with Bucs

    Bucs

    Don't let his modest preseason stats fool you: Antony Auclair, the undrafted rookie tight end from Canada is making a strong case to stick around on the Bucs' 53-man roster this season.

    Bucs tight end Antony Auclair (82) collides with a defender following a catch during training camp. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]