GLASGOW, July 28 (Reuters) - The United States women's team secured their place in the quarter-final stage of the Olympics soccer tournament in confident style on Saturday with a 3-0 win over Colombia.
Goals from Megan Rapinoe, Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd at Hampden Park earned the Americans victory after was a scrappy and at times physical clash.
A superbly-struck 25 yard goal from Rapinoe put the U.S. ahead in the 33rd minute although Colombia keeper Sandra Sepulveda will be disappointed she didn't do better with a shot that was hit high but at the center of her goal.
The physical nature of the game threatened to go too far with an incident in the 38th minute when Wambach appeared to be struck in the face by Lady Andrade but the clash was missed by the Greek referee.
Colombia were hard working and determined but the nearest they came to an equaliser was an ambitious 40 yard effort from Catalina Usme but U.S. keeper Hope Solo was alert and reacted well.
After the break the game deteriorated as a spectacle with a series of petty fouls but the Americans made sure of the three points with two goals which illustrated their superiority.
Wambach scored her 140th international goal in the 73rd minute with a low shot into the corner after a smart exchange with Tobin Heath.
The tall forward then blasted a 20 yard strike against the crossbar but the U.S. got their third when at the end of a smart exchange of passes, Rapinoe found Lloyd who made no mistake with a confident finish.
The United States now face North Korea in their final game in group G at Old Trafford, Manchester, on Tuesday where they will hope to secure top place in the group. (Reporting by Simon Evans)