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U.S. women open Olympics with 4-2 win over France

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    United States' Megan Rapinoe, right, Alex Morgan, center, celebrate together after Morgan scores her second goal during the women's group G soccer match between the United States and France at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 25, 2012, at Hampden Park Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland. (AP Photo/Chris Clark)
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GLASGOW, Scotland >>  An early start to the Olympics turned into an early deficit for the U.S. women’s football team, which gave up two quick goals before unleashing an attack the rest of the world will find hard to stop.

Abby Wambach used her size and strength to put in a header, Alex Morgan scored twice and Carli Lloyd added another with a 25-yard rocket to help the two-time defending goal medalists rally for a 4-2 victory over France today.

The Americans opened their London Games far from London and two days before the opening ceremony. Football starts its Olympics early so it has time to play a full tournament of games.

The Americans allowed more goals in the first 15 minutes than they had allowed in any game since the World Cup final loss to Japan last year. Gaetane Thiney scored in the 12th and Marie-Laure Delie added a second in the 14th, finding holes in a supposedly impenetrable defense — a potential cause for U.S. concern as the grueling tournament progresses.

But Wambach scored in the 19th, Morgan in the 32nd, Lloyd in the 56th and Morgan again in the 66th. Wambach now has 139 international goals in her pursuit of Mia Hamm’s record of 158, and 23-year-old “Baby Horse” Morgan — the second-youngest player on the team — has a remarkable 19 this year alone.

While the Americans are favored to win gold again — and even though the U.S. is now 13-0-1 all-time against France — it was hardly a surprise to see the French make it a game. The teams were level late in the second half in last year’s World Cup semifinals before the Americans finished off a 3-1 win, and France entered these Olympics on a 17-game winning streak.

The United States plays Colombia in its second group game on Saturday. France will face North Korea.

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