Team USA upsets Colombia in first game without Katarina Macario

Team USA upsets Colombia in first game without Katarina Macario

The U.S. national team returned to action Saturday night in Colorado with a 3-0 victory over Colombia to regain its former glory.

The two sides were scoreless at half-time, but Sofia Smith took the lead in the second half with two goals in six minutes to give it a 2-0 lead. Tyler Konik scored another goal in the stoppage time to complete the game.

Smith now has six goals and three assists in 16 appearances for the U.S. national team, and Kornieck’s goal was her first in her first international appearance for the U.S. national team.

Head coach Vlatko Andonovski said Colombia’s strategy was to keep the game low, which forced the team to be creative late in the game.

“It’s no secret that they’re very focused on not getting scored,” Andonovski said, via ESPN’s Jeff Kassouf. “So our main focus will be [the last third], different combinations, creating space, and executing on the opportunities we create.”

The U.S. national team will return to action in Utah on Tuesday for another friendly against Columbia in preparation for the CONCACAF W Championship, which begins in July. Their first game is against Haiti on July 4, and if all goes well during the game, the U.S. national team could qualify for the 2023 World Cup and the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The victory came despite the lack of midfielder Katarina Macario, who tore her cruciate ligament while playing for Lyon last month. The 22-year-old said she was “devastated” by the injury and will miss next month’s game, but believes she will be back healthy soon.

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