Saturday 06 August 2016, 22:55

Lloyd steers USA past France

Defending champions USA recorded their second win of the Women's Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016 after defeating France 1-0 at Belo Horizonte's Estadio Mineirao.

Carli Lloyd's opener on 63 minutes proved to be the difference for The Stars and Stripes, who now sit top of Group G with six points.

Both sides played out a tightly-contested first half with France perhaps looking the more dangerous side going forward. In the 15th minute, Louisa Cadamuro's free-kick found defender Wendie Renard, whose header struck the crossbar, forcing goalkeeper Hope Solo to tip the rebound over.

USA's first opportunity came on 28 minutes when Tobin Heath's free-kick was tipped over by Sarah Bouhaddi. Five minutes before half-time, France's Marie Laure received the ball in a dangerous position in the USA penalty area but Solo was there to make another important save, ensuring the match ended goalless at the break.

In the second half, Jill Ellis' side looked more threatening in attack and they were rewarded for their relentless pressure on 63 minutes. After receiving the ball in the area, Heath saw her shot cannon off the post, and Lloyd was there to latch onto the ball and slot home with a cool finish to register her 90th international goal.

France responded well to going a goal down but could not find a leveller. Skipper Renard's long-range free-kick went narrowly wide of the post, while Solo was forced to pull off another tremendous stop to prevent Marie Laure Delie's low header. The USA shot-stopper was called into action again on 83 minutes and she held firm to register a clean sheet on her landmark 200th appearance.