After the U.S.'s 1-0 victory over North Korea a few moments ago in London, you can't help but be impressed by the American women's soccer team. They looked very sharp, played very well for the most part and are poised to make a run in this Olympic tournament.
So, what did we learn about this team from today's match? Here are three key takeaways from the U.S.'s win over North Korea.
This Team is Still the Real Deal
Any talk that this team can't win gold in London should be immediately dismissed. The U.S. could've easily won this game by three or four, and it was unfortunate that they couldn't take advantage of all their opportunities and that they even had a goal disallowed due to an offsides.
But besides that, they appeared to be at the top of their game. Abby Wambach is as sharp as ever, as she scored her third goal of the tournament. Hope Solo hasn't allowed a goal in 255 minutes. The defense was excellent, as they were able to limit North Korea's offense very effectively.
And with their spot in the quarterfinals secured, they're the clear favorites to win gold and should be regarded as such by everyone.
The Need To Get More Insurance
Yes, they looked very good against a top-10 squad in North Korea, but this team can't keep playing tight games because, sooner or later, they're going to give up a cheap goal and have to go to extra time. It's a risk that they don't need to take with so much talent on other teams, especially against the likes of Japan and Brazil.
Against Colombia, the U.S. won 3-0, but that doesn't tell the whole story. It was a tight 1-0 game for most of the second half before they pulled away with two late goals. The U.S. needs to score earlier and get up on their opponents. They had numerous chances to do so against North Korea but failed to execute, hitting the post twice.
The U.S. needs to capitalize on their opportunities. If they do so, they're unstoppable.
The Big Picture
So, overall the future looks bright for Team USA. Despite not taking advantage of all of their opportunities, they were able to win as comfortably as you possibly can in a 1-0 game. The outcome was never really in any doubt despite the score.
The Americans just need to fine-tune their game a little bit, and the gold is as good as theirs.
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