After letting in two goals by Colombia in a 2-2 tie, U.S. keeper Hope Solo said, “I don’t wish it on anybody. Being a goalkeeper is extremely difficult.”
MANAUS, Brazil – In the first few moments Hope Solo had to reflect after the U.S. team’s 2-2 draw with Colombia on Tuesday, she already had perspective on the two goals Catalina Usme got past her.
“I’ve been around the game long enough to know that it’s part of the position,” Solo said. “I don’t wish it on anybody. Being a goalkeeper is extremely difficult. But I’ve been around long enough to know that these things do happen; they’ve happened to me before.
“You just hope that they happen few and far between.”
The draw, while disappointing, did not have much impact on the defending Olympic champions. The United States still emerged at the top of Group G and will play Sweden in Brasilia on Friday in the quarterfinals.
The U.S. team is ranked No. 1 in the latest FIFA rankings and Colombia is No. 24.
Usme beat Seattle Reign FC keeper Solo, a former Washington Huskies standout, on free kicks.
The first goal, in the 26th minute, was a shot that hit the turf before going between Solo’s legs.
Usme’s second goal came from a tight angle in the 90th minute.
“I have also learned to have a short-term memory,” Solo said. “So I’m just going to put this behind me and move on, because there’s going to be some great football in the coming games and I’m going to have to come up big and keep our team in it.”
At 18, Mallory Pugh became the youngest player to score for the United States in an Olympics with her goal in the 60th minute that gave her team a 2-1 lead. Olympic newcomer Crystal Dunn scored for the United States in the 42nd minute.
The U.S. women’s team, the reigning World Cup champion, is vying for its fourth straight Olympic gold medal.
“It is what it is,” United States captain Carli Lloyd said. “I’d rather two goals get let in like that in this game, than in a quarterfinal, a semifinal or a final match. Do we all know that we can play a lot better? Of course. But we met our objective and it’s important to stay positive and take what we can out of these games.”
Pugh came into the game as a first-half substitute for Reign midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who played in her first match since having knee surgery in December.
“I felt really good,” Rapinoe said. “A little rusty in certain moments. I still have to get that game fitness back, but overall I felt really good.”
In addition to using Rapinoe, U.S. coach Jill Ellis made several other changes to her starting lineup, sitting regular starters Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath and Meghan Klingenberg.
Defender Julie Johnston, who sat out the second match with a groin injury, was also on the bench.