U.S. women defeat France 1-0 in Group G play

U.S. women defeat France 1-0 in Group G play

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NBC Olympics.com – In a matchup of two of the top three ranked teams in the world the U.S. came away with a 1-0 victory.

The U.S. had two changes to its starting lineup from its first match against New Zealand with Crystal Dunn replacing Mallory Pugh and Whitney Engen coming in for Julie Johnston, who was out with groin soreness.

France was forced into a last minute change to their lineup as Eugenie Le Sommer was ruled out with an injury. She was replaced by Marie-Laure Delie.

The first real scoring chance went to France in the 16th minute as French captain Wendie Renard sent a header off the crossbar.

In the 30th minute, Tobin Heath provided the U.S.'s best chance at a goal in the first half as she struck a free kick that forced French goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi to tip the ball over the crossbar.

France looked strong throughout the first half and almost went up a goal late on in the half. Delie took a shot from inside the box, but Hope Solo was up to the challenge as the teams went into halftime scoreless.

The U.S. found more footing to start the second half, keeping more of the ball, putting more pressure on the French defense.

That pressure paid dividends in the 63rd minute as Carli Lloyd gave the U.S. the lead. After some good ball movement from the U.S. Tobin Heath got in open space on the left side of the box and sent in a shot that hit off the post. Lloyd was there to gather the rebound and knock it in to opening the scoring.

Following the goal, the U.S. made a defensive sub as Ali Krieger came on for Dunn. Krieger, 32, became the oldest U.S. women's soccer play to make her Olympic debut.

France had a chance to equalize in the 77th minute as Delie found herself free in the box, but her header was saved by Solo.

The French continued to put pressure on the U.S. but were unable to come away with a goal.

With the victory, the U.S. take control in Group G with six points. France remains at three points.

Both the U.S. and France will plays its final group stage match on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. ET. The U.S. faces off against Colombia while France plays New Zealand.

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