The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team — the 2015 World Cup champions — were lucky to avoid a surprisingly powerful French team that lost to Germany in a quarterfinal match in which France appeared to be the stronger side.

U.S. Women’s Soccer Beat France 1-0 In First-Round Olympic Game

The Americans defeated Les Bleus 1-0 on Saturday at the Mineirão Stadium in Belo Horizonte for their second straight first-round Olympic game. They defeated New Zealand  in their opening match on Wednesday. They have now advanced to the tournament quarterfinals, and have one more first-round game to play– against Colombia, in the Amazon.

U.S. goalie Hope Solo was again jeered in a game during which France earned most of the scoring opportunities. The French defeated Colombia in their opening game and have yet to play New Zealand. They have a good chance to progress to the quarterfinals.

The game’s lone goal came in the 63rd minute when Tobin Heath fired a shot that deflected off the right post and fell near captain Carli Lloyd, who rapidly tapped the ball into the net. Lloyd also scored the opening Olympic goal for the US women’s team on Wednesday.

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Before and after the goal, France created frightening moments for the U.S. Nevertheless, Solo was always there to make the stop. Late in the first half, Marie Laure Delie broke away alone on Solo’s left and kicked a shot that the U.S. keeper managed to catch between her legs.

After that, 76 minutes into the match, Solo made a quick save on a close-in header.

France outshot the U.S., 14-7, and had eight corer kicks compared to three for the Americans. The French also hit the crossbar on a free kick in the 16th minute of the first half on a shot that the diving Solo was just able to tip slightly upward.

Exactly as it happened on Wednesday’s game, the crowd booed and mocked Solo every time the ball came close to her, and when she kicked it off, chants of “Zika! Zika!’’ filled the Stadium. The chants mock the goalkeeper because of several Twitter posts she made in July referring to mosquitoes and the Zika virus. One included a photo of Solo wearing what appeared to be a beekeeper’s mask; another showed dozens of containers of insect repellent spread across a bed.

Solo subsequently expressed sympathy for the people of Brazil when she and her teammates landed in Rio, but the locals clearly do not seem to have forgiven her yet.

The rest of the U.S. women’s squad played an average game. On offense, Crystal Dunn started in place of Mallory Pugh, although Dunn did not have the impact she did when she came on during the second half on Wednesday, her Olympic debut. On defense, Whitney Engen replaced the injured Julie Johnston. 

Megan Rapinoe, who injured her knee last December, still did not get a chance to play. Alex Morgan and Morgan Brian had brief moments where it looked possible they might score, but neither was able to deliver. The U.S. Women’s team, who did not lose a single match in last year’s World Cup, has yet to drop one in Rio either.

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL – AUGUST 06: Crystal Dunn of United States and Amel Majri of France battle for the ball during the Women’s Group G first round match between United States and France during Day 1 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Mineirao Stadium on August 6, 2016 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

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