VANCOUVER, CANADA - JANUARY 20: A fan of the United States poses before the game against the Dominican Republic at the 2012 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament at BC Place on January 20, 2012 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, Scotland - Megan Rapinoe said she wanted a clean sheet for the U.S. women's soccer team for the rest of the Olympic Games.
She got what she wanted and more Saturday, scoring the USA's first goal in a 3-0 rout of Colombia.
In their second match at the London Olympics, and the last here at Hampden Park, the American defense rebounded from some mishaps in their 4-2 win vs. France in which the USA allowed the game's first two goals. Rapinoe, who had all of one goal in 14 prior U.S. national team appearances this season, screamed a right-footer from outside the penalty area past three Colombian defenders and the goalkeeper.
The afternoon contest between two teams on opposite ends of the world rankings attracted fewer than the 18,090 who showed up for the France game. With the win, the USA can finish group play undefeated vs. North Korea on Tuesday in Manchester, England.
Rapinoe's goal presented a bit of a role reversal for her and teammate Alex Morgan, who stole the ball from a defender in the 33rd minute and served it on the ground to her teammate. Morgan is leading the team with 19 goals in 2012, and had two vs. France, while Rapinoe had two assists in that win.
Upon scoring, Rapinoe pulled from her uniform a written happy birthday tribute to a former teammate. Ali Krieger, who turned 28 Saturday, tore the ACL and MCL muscles in her knee during Olympic qualifying and after rehab did not make the team. The midfielder scored the decisive extra-time penalty kick against Brazil during the 2011 World Cup quarterfinals.
In the second half, after failing to capitalize on multiple header attempts, U.S. forward Abby Wambach took a give-and-go from Tobin Heath and scored in the 73rd minute to give the USA a 2-0 lead. Four minutes later, Carli Lloyd, replacing the injured Shannon Boxx, slipped a shot past overwhelmed Colombian keeper Sandra Sepulveda to make it 3-0.
Lloyd, benched weeks ago in favor of Boxx, is making a case for the starting job, though Colombian defenders aren't the ideal benchmark. Boxx's injured hamstring is to be re-evaluated before the women meet North Korea.
Robert Klemko, USA TODAY