GLASGOW, Scotland -- The U.S. has reached the final of every Olympic women's soccer tournament. But now it appears that the rest of the world is catching up to the Americans, who had to rally from two goals down to tie France, 2-2, after the first half of their opening match Wednesday at Hampden Park.
The 12-team field in this summer’s Olympic Games is the deepest ever, featuring eight of the top nine teams in the latest FIFA rankings. One of those is No. 6 France, which hasn't lost since last summer’s World Cup, a span of 17 matches. And it was France that quickly opened a 2-0 lead Wednesday on goals by Gaetane Thiney and Marie-Laure Delie.
Thiney got the first one, in the 12th minute, on a right-footed shot from well outside the area.
The sequence started with a long ball from the French end that U.S. defender Amy Le Peilbet headed away from her goal. But the ball bounced right to Thiney, whose shot deflected off the hand of keeper Hope Solo’s hands and into the top right-hand corner of the net.
A patient Delie doubled the advance for France two minutes later after the U.S. did a horrible job of clearing a loose ball from the edge of the 18-yard box. The ball was touched by at least three U.S. players -- including Le Peilbet and Megan Rapinoe, who got a foot on the ball twice --– before Delie blasted another shot off Solo's hands and into the goal.