Overcast 47° Good Evening
Overcast 47° Good Evening

Abby Wambach gets black eye, goal in U.S. Olympic win

Abby Wambach, second from left, is tackled by

Abby Wambach, second from left, is tackled by Colombia's Yulieht Dominguez, left, during the group G women's soccer match between the United States and Colombia at the London 2012 Summer Olympics at Hampden Park Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland. (July 28, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

GLASGOW, Scotland - After getting sucker punched, striker Abby Wambach came back with a counter punch of her own to boost the United States into the knockout round of the Olympic women's soccer tournament on Saturday.

Wambach exacted revenge by scoring the insurance goal in a 3-0 victory over Colombia, which propelled the two-time defending gold medalists into the quarterfinals.

Megan Rapinoe, enjoying a wonderful Olympics (one goal, four assists) and Carli Lloyd also scored for the Americans (2-0-0, six points). The United States needs only to tie North Korea in Manchester Tuesday to clinch the Group G title. The Koreans (1-1-0, 3 points) dropped a 5-0 decision to France (1-1-0, 3 points). Colombia fell to 0-2.

The United States could never find its rhythm, but managed to collect the three points.

The 32-year-old Wambach left Hampden Park with her 140th international goal, a black eye and some hard feelings.

"I've never been sucker punched in my life, let alone in a soccer match," Wambach said. "So, I'm not very pleased with the fact that actually happened in an Olympic event.

"It was tactics of theirs to slow the game down, do whatever they can to try to get us off our game. FIFA and the Olympic Committee should look at the film and see what really happened. I'm glad that a black eye is the only thing that really came out of that game in terms of an injury."

The incident occurred six minutes after Rapinoe scored off a 20-yard effort in the 33rd minute.

While running, the 5-11 Wambach, who had five inches on her opponent, was struck by Lady Andrade. It seemed everyone in the stadium saw the incident but referee Thalia Mitsi (Greece) and her crew.

"The ball gets played out to the left flank," Wambach said. "Megan Rapinoe is basically in and I'm running towards the goal to get position and I got sucker punched. It's clear."

Andrade pleaded innocence.

"Nothing happened," she said through an interpreter. "It was just a normal part of the game. We were both running. She ran across me and we collided. I had my hands in the air. It was an accident."

Goalkeeper Hope Solo, who had an easy game, wanted Andrade disciplined. "I hope their No. 16 doesn't get back on the field because it wasn't nice and no player should have to go through that when she wasn't even looking," she said.

To which Andrade replied: "They should be [disciplined], too, but because they're the United States, the whistle always goes in their favor. They were hitting us and hitting us but there was never a whistle."

Wambach connected in the 74th minute, a 12-yard drive off Tobin Heath's through ball. That was her U.S.-record sixth Olympic career goal, breaking a tie with Mia Hamm and Tiffeny Milbrett.

The goal made her feel better. "Absolutely," Wambach said.

"It's interesting because you think about what you would do on the street if somebody would sucker punch you," she added. "You would have all of the lists of things you would probably do to retaliate. But this is the Olympics. I can't risk getting a red card, can't risk getting a yellow card. We like to call it ice. Stay ice cold. They're trying to get me to retaliate. I'm proud of myself for not doing that.

"She was taunting me the whole second half. She tried to punch me again in the second half in the face. She didn't connect. She got me in the neck."

Three minutes later, Lloyd added a 16-yarder off Rapinoe's pass to close out a choppy game.

New York Sports