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U.S. wins with familiar touch

Carli Lloyd (10), an injury substitute for Shannon Boxx, gives the United States its first lead over France in their opener, 3-2, with a goal in the 56th minute.

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Carli Lloyd (10), an injury substitute for Shannon Boxx, gives the United States its first lead over France in their opener, 3-2, with a goal in the 56th minute.

GLASGOW, Scotland — Four years ago, Carli Lloyd provided the climax to the women's soccer tournament with a wicked shot that was, for the United States at least, a truly golden goal. Wednesday, Lloyd produced another dazzling finish that the Americans can only hope will send them along a similar path.

In the Americans' opener against France, Lloyd — who was left out of the starting lineup and came on as a first-half substitute — unleashed a rising shot that zoomed past goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi and broke a 2-2 tie in the 56th minute.

Lloyd said she was not expecting to hit such a pure shot from distance because she and others had struggled to get comfortable with the Adidas balls being used. The balls are a little bit harder, Lloyd said, so "it's not very often you hit in the sweet spot. Fortunately on that one, I did."

Lloyd's magic was the final salve on a brutal beginning for the United States, which trailed 2-0 after 14 minutes. But the Americans said they were unmoved.

"We were ice-cold," goalie Hope Solo said. "We weren't even fazed going down two goals. We knew France was good, but we knew we were better."

Alex Morgan said she and former Gator Abby Wambach told each other, "All right, a goal each" and they delivered, combining to tie the score at 2 just after the half-hour mark.

Lloyd, who came on when midfielder Shannon Boxx injured her right quadriceps, gave the United States the lead for good in the 56th minute, and Morgan scored again in the 66th.

flag flap: Most of the soccer talk was about an embarrassing mistake by organizers who displayed the South Korean flag instead of the North Korean one before the North Korea-Colombia women's game in Glasgow.

The mistake happened when a North Korean player was introduced on the jumbo screen along with a picture of the South Korean flag. The team refused to take the field and delayed the game's start for more than an hour.

"If this matter couldn't have been resolved, then I thought going on is nonsense," coach Sin Ui Gun said through an interpreter after North Korea won 2-0. "We were angry because our players were introduced as if they were from South Korea, which may affect us very greatly, as you might know."

Organizers apologized, saying "clearly that is a mistake.

athlete out over tweet: A Greek triple jumper was removed from the team for posting a comment on Twitter that disparaged African immigrants in Greece.

The comment from Voula Papachristou, 23, in Greek on July 22 translated as: "With so many Africans in Greece, at least the mosquitoes of West Nile will eat homemade food."

Papachristou also retweeted messages from the extreme right Golden Dawn party, which has criticized Greek's prime minister and his stance on immigration.

When it was announced she was off the team, she posted an apology on her Facebook page and on Twitter, saying she made an "unfortunate and tasteless joke. … I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights." The Greek Olympic committee said Papahristou's comments "go against the values and ideals of Olympism."

DRUG outs and ins: Ten track and field athletes are out because of doping offenses, the sport's ruling body, IAAF, said. Six had suspicious results in their biological passport and four positive results in retests of samples from the 2011 world championships, IAAF said. … The latest marker tests for human growth hormone will be in use in London, World Anti-Doping Agency director David Howman said.

U.S. wins with familiar touch 07/25/12 [Last modified: Thursday, July 26, 2012 12:11am]
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