April 10, 2016
By Charles Cuttone
Johnston brace leads US Women past Colombia
CHESTER, Pa.---Julie Johnston scored two goals, both on free kick assists by Tobin Heath, as the U.S. women’s national team blanked Colombia for the second time in four days, this time taking a 3-0 win Sunday at sold-out Talen Energy Stadium.
|Julie Johnston scores the first of her two goals against Colombia Sunday at Talen Energy Stadium.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Christen Press, who scored the last goal in Wednesday’s 7-0 rout in Connecticut, opened the scoring in the 27th minute, poking in a ball that was looped over the top of the defense by Lindsey Horan.
Johnston made it 2-0 just before the half. Heath served a perfect ball into the area on a 35-yard free kick. Johnston went across the area and got a foot on the ball to put it past goalkeeper Catalina Perez.
Johnston scored her second goal in the 79th minute, off another assist from Heath off a free kick. This time, she dove to head the ball behind airborne defender Natalia Gaitan and into the net.
Carli Lloyd, who grew up in nearby Delran, N.J., was returning home to play for the first time since her World Cup heroics last year, but it was anything but a happy homecoming. Lloyd, who scored in the 39th minute of Wednesday’s game had several good chances, mostly in the first half. She
was subbed out in the 79th minute, for Ali Krieger.
In the 10th minute, Lloyd rolled a shot from inside the six just wide of the left post. In the 38th minute, the World Player of the Year had a ball at the left post go through her feet, when all she needed to do is tap it in. Then, in the 55th minute, after Crystal Dunn was taken down by Liana Salazar, who received a yellow card, Lloyd had two bites at the apple. Her free kick from just off the 18 hit the wall. The ball rebounded
back to her, and she volleyed a shot over the wall.
Lloyd scored in all four of her previous games against Colombia.
Lloyd wasn’t the only one sending shots off the mark, as Colombia defended tightly, sometimes packing as many as nine players into the box and often playing with that many behind the ball.
In the 4th minute, Press made a beautiful turn on the ball in the area, but her shot was stopped by Perez. A minute later, she narrowly missed at the right post.
Crystal Dunn, who scored twice at midweek, had her best chance of the game in the 70th minute, putting a shot right at Perez.
The U.S. twice came close to getting a fourth in stoppage time, but Perez came up big both times in goal. First she slapped away a shot by Tobin Heath after Samantha Mewis started a breakaway. Then moments later, she challenged Press who had run onto a ball at the end line, and turned
around to scoop up the shot before it could go into the open goal.