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Kelley O’Hara helps USWNT complete sweep of Colombia

Jun 28, 2022; Sandy, Utah, USA; USA forward Megan Rapinoe (15) reacts after a first half goal against the Columbia during an international friendly soccer matc at Rio Tinto Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley O’Hara’s rare goal helped the U.S. women’s national team defeat Colombia 2-0 in Sandy, Utah, on Tuesday in its final tune-up before the qualifying tournament for the 2023 World Cup.

An own goal by Manuela Vanegas in the 22nd minute opened the door for the U.S. to run its home unbeaten streak to 69 matches (62 wins, seven ties).

After severe weather halted play for 48 minutes at the 75-minute mark, O’Hara scored two minutes following the game’s resumption. The defender’s third goal in 154 U.S. appearances was her first since 2016.

Earlier, U.S. goalie Alyssa Naeher preserved a 1-0 lead with a cross-body save with her right hand against Leicy Santos in the 55th minute on a shot targeted for the upper right corner. Naeher’s other save came on an attempt by Linda Caicedo in the 88th minute.

The U.S. will head to Mexico next month for the 2022 CONCACAF W Championship that serves as the regional entry into the World Cup. New this year is that the tournament winner also qualifies for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The U.S. starts Group A play against Haiti on July 4 in San Nicolas de los Garza, Mexico.

Colombia, ranked 28th in the world, made life difficult for the top-ranked Americans for the second straight match. The U.S. scored three second-half goals in a 3-0 victory in Commerce City, Colo., on Saturday.

U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski made nine changes for the rematch with Lindsey Horan and Rose Lavelle as the holdovers. The new starters included stalwarts Alex Morgan (115 goals in 191 matches) and Megan Rapinoe (62 in 188).

Defender Carson Pickett made history when she became the first player with a limb difference to play for the USWNT, according to U.S. Soccer. She was born without part of her left arm.

It took a miscue by Vanegas for the U.S. to take the lead. She tried to clear an attempt by Sofia Huerta but instead headed the ball past stunned goalkeeper Catalina Perez.

–Field Level Media

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