EDMONTON, Alberta – Now that Alex Morgan has a goal, she doesn’t want to look back on the opportunities she’s missed.
She wants to look forward to the goals to come.
“I don’t remember the last goal I’ve had with this team,” said Morgan, who had been hampered by a bone bruise in her left knee going into the tournament. “And that’s not a good sign. I don’t want to look back and see when the last one was because now I’ve scored, and it’s a fresh start moving forward.”
Morgan scored her first goal of the Women’s World Cup and the United States advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-0 victory over Colombia on Monday night. Her previous U.S. goal came March 6 in the Algarve Cup.
Abby Wambach’s penalty kick early in the second half went wide after Colombia goalkeeper Catalina Perez — a backup herself — was ejected for a foul on Morgan. Stefany Castano, who replaced Perez in goal, got a hand on Morgan’s shot five minutes later, but couldn’t stop the goal to put the United States up 1-0.
“It didn’t have much power on it as I wanted, but it went in and that’s all that matters,” she said about her right-footed goal.
Usually she’s a lefty: “It comes in handy when it needs to,” she smiled.
Carli Lloyd also scored for the second-ranked Americans, who will face No. 16 China on Friday in Ottawa. The United States is seeking its third World Cup title, but first since 1999.
The Americans have not allowed a goal in 333 minutes.
Colombia has never won soccer’s premier tournament, but the No. 28 Las Cafeteras pulled off one of the biggest upsets in any World Cup in the group stage when they defeated third-ranked France 2-0.
Morgan and Wambach started up top for the United States, which used the same starting lineup as it did in the group-stage finale against Nigeria — a first since Jill Ellis became coach.
It was Morgan’s second straight start after working her way back from a bone bruise in her left knee. Morgan came in as a sub in the first two matches of the tournament.
England rallies to victory
Second-half goals from Steph Houghton and Lucie Bronze booked England’s passage to the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup on Monday with a 2-1 win over Norway.
England had fallen behind to a 54th-minute goal for 1995 champion Norway off a Solveig Gulbrandsen header.
But seven minutes later, English captain Houghton equalized and Bronze scored the winner on 76 minutes at Ottawa’s Lansdowne Stadium.
England, which has never before won a knockout game at the World Cup, next plays Canada on Saturday in Vancouver.
England coach Mark Sampson made four changes to his lineup with midfielder Katie Chapman, defenders Laura Bassett, Bronze and Claire Rafferty all coming on.
But in a drab first half, Norway had the most chances, with Karen Bardsley superbly denying Isabell Helovsen early as England struggled in the Ottawa heat.
Back after the break, Norway broke the deadlock with Gulbrandsen, at 34 years the most experienced member of her team, heading in off a corner for a goal which was confirmed by goal-line technology.
Houghton headed sixth-ranked England level again seven minutes later following a Fara Williams corner.
And Bronze added the second with 14 minutes to go following good work from Jill Scott and Jodie Taylor, which allowed the defender to fire a powerful shot into the back of the net that goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth got a hand on but could not keep out.