Final, 1-0 USA: The referee blows the final whistle, and the game is over.
The United States women’s soccer team’s perfect run in the Olympics continues with a hard-fought win over France. Carli Lloyd scored the deciding goal in the 64th minute, rewarding Team USA for the strides it took in the second half.
France had a number of chances to tie the score, but USA goalkeeper Hope Solo demonstrated top form in making a number of key saves.
The USA leads Group G with six points after two games and clinched a spot in the quarterfinals after New Zealand, which lost to the Americans in the opener, defeated Colombia 1-0. France and New Zealand are tied for second with three points.
That’s all for now, and thanks for joining us. Let’s discuss this one on Twitter @NESNsoccer and Facebook. Be sure to keep an eye out for some news, fan reactions, analysis and opinion coming up on NESN.com/soccer.
90th minute, 1-0 USA: There will be a minimum of three minutes of added time in the second half.
90th minute, 1-0 USA: Christen Press replaces Klingenberg, as the U.S. makes its final substitution.
86th minute, 1-0 USA: France makes its final substitution. Delie exits. Claire Lavogez enters.
83rd minute, 1-0 USA: Renard heads tamely on goal. Solo collects it.
France is posing a constant menace on set pieces.
83rd minute, 1-0 USA: Camille Abily exits, and Kheira Hamraoui enters in France’s second substitution.
80th minute, 1-0 USA: Lindsey Horan replaces Lloyd in USA’s second substitution.
80th minute, 1-0 USA: Morgan turns and shoots narrowly over France’s goal from distance.
80th minute, 1-0 USA: The referee shows France’s Griedge Mbock Bathy a yellow card for a professional foul.
79th minute, 1-0 USA: Krieger clears a cross into the side netting. It looks like the game-tying goal, but it’s actually a corner kick.
77th minute, 1-0 USA: Solo saves Delie’s headed attempt, as France continues to threaten.
73rd minute, 1-0 USA: Renard and Amandine Henry narrowly miss connecting with a free kick in the U.S. penalty area, as the Americans escape unscathed.
70th minute, 1-0 USA: Both sides are making substitutions.
Ali Krieger replaces Dunn in a defensive-minded substitution for Team USA.
Elodie Thomis enters for France. Louisa Cadamuro exits.
67th minute, 1-0 USA: Lloyd receives a yellow card for a foul on Jessica Houara.
64th minute, 1-0 USA: Lloyd delivers again, giving Team USA the lead.
Heath shot off the post, and Lloyd arrived in the right position and bundled the rebound over the goal line.
Lloyd closes in on Team USA’s Olympic goal-scoring record.
56th minute, 0-0: Bouhaddi intercepts Heath’s through-pass before Brian can run onto it.
Team USA is showing signs of attacking improvement.
50th minute, 0-0: Familiar patterns have emerged after five minutes of play in the second half.
Most of Team USA’s possession comes either inside its own half or just over the halfway line. The closer it plays toward France’s goal, the more it struggles to link together.
46th minute, 0-0: The second half is under way.
Halftime, 0-0: The referee blows the whistle, signaling the end of the first half.
The U.S. seemingly met its match in the first half. France had the better of play and scoring chances, forcing the U.S. into an unusual reactive mode for much of the period.
Solo’s saves on Renard’s header and Delie’s one-on-one chance kept the scoreline level. Team USA’s best opportunity came on Heath’s free kick.
Team USA’s defense met expectations, but its attack showed a worrying lack of cohesion and quality. It must improve in that area in the second half.
41st minute, 0-0: Delie has a clear-cut scoring chance, but Solo races off her line and denies the France forward from scoring.
37th minute, 0-0: The difference between USA and France remains wafer-thin, as they struggle to gain full control of the game. France remains better in possession and patiently waits for its opening. The U.S. is dangerous on fast counter-attacks.
30th minute, 0-0: Heath puts her shot on goal, but Bouhaddi saves it over the crossbar.
Yet the referee awards a goal kick in a bad decision.
29th minute, 0-0: Lloyd is fouled at the top of France’s arc. The U.S. has a free kick from 22 yards out and an opportunity to challenge Bouhaddi for the first time.
26th minute, 0-0: Marie Laure Delie shoots on the U.S. goal, but the well-positioned Solo bats it out at the near post for a corner kick.
20th minute, 0-0: We’re still waiting on the U.S. attack to come to life. 20 minutes have passed, and France has kept Morgan and Carli Lloyd from impacting the game in any way.
17th minute, 0-0: Solo fails to intercept a corner kick, leading to some chaos in the U.S. penalty area. Eventually the Americans clear the danger.
16th minute, 0-0: France defender Wendie Renard heads a free kick on goal, but Solo saves it over the crossbar.
15th minute, 0-0: Neither side has created a scoring chance, but France can claim to have the better start in terms of possession and territory.
France has looked to created openings on the flanks, but U.S. fullbacks Kelley O’Hara and Meghan Klingenberg have defended with great composure.
Ninth minute, 0-0: Heath drives a free kick into the penalty area, but it flies straight to France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi.
Seventh minute, 0-0: The U.S. is struggling to link play between the midfield and forward lines.
France’s tactic of committing numbers forward has caused U.S. wingers Tobin Heath and Dunn to drop deeper than they normally would, leaving Alex Morgan isolated up top.
Fifth minute, 0-0: The teams have opened the game cautiously, with France enjoying the majority of possession early on.
Second minute, 0-0: Fans at Estadio Meneirao in Belo Horizonte are booing Solo and screaming “Zika” at her — just as they did Thursday against New Zealand.
Kickoff: USA-France is under way.
Pregame: The biggest news in the team selections involves arguably the biggest name in the competition.
Hope Solo makes the 200th appearance of her international career. She becomes the first goalkeeper, man or woman, to reach the 200-game mark and the 11th player in Team USA’s history to do so.
Crystal Dunn and Whitney Engen make their first starts in a major international tournament, as injuries force USA head coach Jill Ellis to make a couple surprise changes to the starting 11.
France takes on the U.S. without Eugénie Le Sommer, one of its top goal threats, in the starting lineup.
3:45 p.m.: Here are the starting lineups.
3:30 p.m. ET: The simmering women’s soccer rivalry between the United States and France is bound to boil in Brazil.
The U.S. faces France on Saturday in the women’s soccer tournament at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The game pits top-ranked USA against third-ranked France in a clash that’s expected to determine the winner of Group G.
The teams come into the game tied on points with three, but France leads by goal difference after one game. Team USA topped New Zealand in its Olympic opener, while France beat Colombia 4-0.
USA-France is a renewal of hostilities between teams that are familiar with one another. Team USA defeated France in the semifinals of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and in the preliminary round of the 2012 Olympics. The teams met twice in 2015, splitting the year’s series with one win apiece.
USA-France kicks off at 4 p.m. ET. Join us right here for all the action from Belo Horizonte.
Thumbnail photo via John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports Images