Late goal gives US dramatic final push
Posted: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 7:00 pm
By JAY COHEN
AP Sports Writer
LONDON (AP) — Alex Morgan’s looping header gave the U.S. women’s soccer team a dramatic 4-3 overtime victory against Canada on Monday night.
And this physical classic was only the semifinal.
Morgan put the U.S. in front for the first time in the third minute of injury time at Old Trafford. Megan Rapinoe scored in the 54th and 70th minutes, and Abby Wambach in the 80th on a penalty for the U.S.
Morgan’s 6-yard header, on a long cross from Heather O’Reilly, went high into the net over goalkeeper Erin McLeod for the winning score.
The Americans overcame a hat trick from Christine Sinclair, who scored in the 22nd, 67th and 73rd minutes for Canada.
Next comes the game the U.S. players have been eyeing for more than a year, a rematch with Japan on Thursday at Wembley Stadium with gold on the line. The top-ranked Americans lost to Japan on penalty kicks in the World Cup final last summer.
“This is redemption for us,” midfielder Carli Lloyd said. “We know how hard it was for us after that game. It hurt us for a really long time.”
Japan advanced with a 2-1 victory over France, getting goals from Yuki Ogimi and Mizuho Sakaguchi.
In men’s basketball, Kevin Durant helped the U.S. team put away Argentina with one impressive shooting burst.
Durant scored 17 of his 28 points during the Americans’ 42-point third quarter, turning a one-point game into a blowout that sent the U.S. soaring into the quarterfinals with a 126-97 victory over Argentina.
Carmelo Anthony made a 3-pointer in the final second of the big third while taking what he and the U.S. bench right behind him felt was a cheap shot from Argentina’s Facundo Campazzo, setting off an exchange of words and technical fouls.
The Americans (5-0) will play Australia (3-2) in a quarterfinal game Wednesday.
Also Monday, American judo fighter Nick Delpopolo apologized after he was expelled from the Olympics for doping, blaming the disqualification on his unintentional consumption of something baked with marijuana.
Delpopolo is the first of the 10,500 London Games athletes to fail an in-competition doping test.
The International Olympic Committee said it disqualified him from the 73-kilogram class, where he placed seventh. He beat opponents from Hong Kong and Belgium, then lost to fighters from South Korea and Mongolia. The IOC added that he tested positive for metabolites of cannabis after competing on July 30, the day of his event.
The judoka from Westfield, N.J., said his positive test was “caused by my inadvertent consumption of food that I did not realize had been baked with marijuana” before he left for the Olympics.
“I apologize to U.S. Olympic Committee, to my teammates, and to my fans, and I am embarrassed by this mistake,” he said in a statement released by the USOC. “I look forward to representing my country in the future, and will rededicate myself to being the best judo athlete that I can be.”
Defending Olympic 50K race walk champion Alex Schwazer also tested positive for doping, and the Italian Olympic Committee said he had been removed from the team.
Jenn Suhr has been America’s best female pole vaulter for a while. Now she’s the best in the world.
Suhr rounded out her resume with Olympic gold, vaulting 15 feet, 7 inches to defeat Cuba’s Yarisley Silva, who cleared the same height but lost on a tiebreaker because she had one more miss in the competition.
Suhr also beat two-time defending Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, who failed to become the first woman to win the same individual track and field event at three consecutive Olympics. Isinbayeva settled for bronze with a vault of 15-5.
Grenada’s Kirani James won the men’s 400 meters and 35-year-old Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic took the men’s 400-meter hurdles on a rainy night at Olympic Stadium. Other track and field winners included Belarus’ Nadzeya Ostapchuk (women’s shot put) and Russia’s Yuliya Zaripova (women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase).
Michael Tinsley was second in the 400 hurdles, but it was a disappointing session for the U.S. overall. The U.S. was without a representative in the 400 final, and it was the first time since the 1980 Moscow Games that someone other than an American won the race.
“It’s probably crazy at home right now,” James said. “There’s probably a road party right now in the streets. I don’t think there are any words to describe the celebration right now.”
In gymnastics, Gabby Douglas was nowhere near the podium this time. The all-around champion, who also helped the United States to team gold, finished last on uneven bars. Russia’s Aliya Mustafina rallied to the victory.
“Toward the end of the Olympics, you get mentally and physically tired and you’re just like drained,” Douglas said. “I tried to fight through it as much as I could.”
Mustafina, who injured her left knee in April 2011, gave Russia its first gold in women’s gymnastics in London.
Flyweight Marlen Esparza and middleweight Claressa Shields clinched the U.S. team’s first two boxing medals. Esparza patiently outboxed Venezuela’s Karlha Magliocco, and the 17-year-old Shields closed furiously in an 18-14 win over Swedish veteran Anna Laurell.
Ireland lightweight Katie Taylor and top-seeded flyweight Ren Cancan of China also won in the first women’s tournament.
On the men’s side, lightweight Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine clinched his second Olympic boxing medal with a 14-9 victory over Puerto Rico’s Felix Verdejo, and middleweight Vijender Singh was eliminated in the biggest blow yet to the beleaguered Indian team.
Published in The Messenger 8.7.12