Team USA Defeats New Zealand in Olympic Opener – Teenager Mallory Pugh Starts

Belo Horizonte, Brazil - Wednesday, August 3, 2016: The USWNT go up 1-0 over New Zealand in first half action in Group G play during the 2016 Olympics. Photo by Brad Smith.

Belo Horizonte, Brazil – Wednesday, August 3, 2016: Mallory Pugh (2) dribbles past a defender in the USWNT opening match against New Zealand. Photo by Brad Smith.

RIO DE JANEIRO – Some of the Olympic Games are underway and matches have already been played despite the Rio Olympics officially opening tomorrow.  As part of the pre-opening excitement, the US Women’s National Soccer Team played against New Zealand in Belo Horizonte.

Yesterday’s match ended in a 2 – 0 win for the US Women’s team.  Of the eleven that started in yesterday as teenager, Mallory Pugh and new comer Allie Long.

Pugh, who was born in 1989 was accepted into UCLA and was expected to play there.  However, Pugh reportedly delayed her entry into UCLA due to her commitment with the USWNT and the Rio Olympics.  While Pugh didn’t score in last night’s match she did set a record and is according to US Soccer, the youngest American soccer player to ever start in an Olympic match.

Belo Horizonte, Brazil - Wednesday, August 3, 2016: The USWNT go up 1-0 over New Zealand from a goal by Carli Lloyd in first half action in Group G play during the 2016 Olympics. Photo by Brad Smith.

Belo Horizonte, Brazil – Wednesday, August 3, 2016: Carli Lloyd (10) and Allie Long (3) celebrate the first goal in the match between the USA and New Zealand. Photo by Brad Smith.

The US racked up a point quickly when Captain Carli Lloyd found the back of the net in the 9th minute of match play after a beautiful cross from Tobin Heath.  For the rest of the first half, the USA kept the pressure on the valiantly fighting team New Zealand.

Belo Horizonte, Brazil - Wednesday, August 3, 2016: The USWNT go on to defeat New Zealand 2-0 in Group G play during the 2016 Olympics at Mineir„o stadium.

Belo Horizonte, Brazil – Wednesday, August 3, 2016: The USWNT go on to defeat New Zealand 2-0 in Group G play during the 2016 Olympics at Mineir„o stadium.

Shortly after the start of the 2nd half, veteran Alex Morgan, who hails for Southern California, scored in the 46th minute and was assisted by Morgan Brian.

The USWNT will play France in Belo Horizonte on August 6th.  In the US, NBC Sports Network will air the match.  Kick-off is scheduled for 5 pm local and 4 pm eastern.

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