Wednesday, August 6, 2008

7:30AM: Women's Football, Preliminaries: USA vs. Norway

9:40AM - The other scores from women's preliminary action:
China 2, Sweden 1.
North Korea 1, Nigeria 0.
Norway 2, United States 0.

And from earlier today:
Germany 0, Brazil 0.
Japan 0, New Zealand 0.
Canada 2, Argentina 1.

Join us again tomorrow for more LIVE BLOGGING coverage of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad as we take our first look at the Men's Football competition. Make sure you check back at this site more often for the latest LIVE BLOGGING schedule and also make sure you go to for the latest updates, news and results, including TV listings and medal standings throughout the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Thanks for checking us out and make sure to come back soon.

9:36AM - It was a game that was decided early after the United States allowed two goals in the 2nd and 4th minutes respectively. After that, Norway was able to tighten up on their defense and prevent any goals from scoring even though the U.S. was able to get several good opportunities. This is a young team that is still learning, but I still expect Norway and the United States to come out of this group and into the knockout stage.

9:33AM - It's over! Norway wins over the United States, 2-0. Norway will get the three points and though the United States improved in their scoring opportunities, Skarboe was there to prevent any goals from scoring. The U.S. will play a must-win game against Japan on Saturday August 9 and then will play New Zealand.

9:31AM (90' + 2) - Skarboe with another amazing save after Angela Hucles hit a hard shot that would have gone into the net if that save wasn't made.

9:30AM (90') - Three minutes of stoppage time have been added.

9:28AM (87') - Shannon Boxx made a huge shot on goal but again Erika Skarboe makes a big save as the rebound was kicked away by the Norwegian defender. Time is running out and any scoring by the United States might be a little to late to make any difference in this game.

9:24AM (83') - Natasha Kai, the U.S.'s big offensive power so far in this game, is being treated after a collision. She is up on her own two feet now but she was on the ground for a considerable amount of time.

9:18AM (79') - Two good scoring opportunities for the United States are unable to do anything for the United States. Carli Lloyd had nice looks on the ball and was able to put up a shot and then a rebound but the Norwegian goalkeeper is able to preserve the 2-0 lead.

9:17AM (78') - Substitution made for the United States as Tobin Heath comes in for Stephanie Cox.

9:14AM - China has scored to give them back the lead over Sweden. It was a great offensive shot that had just the right timing. The goal scored by Han Duan gives China a 2-1 lead over Sweden.

9:12AM (73') - Very nice save by Hope Solo as the chip shot by Gulbrandson almost gave the Norwegians a 3-0 lead.

9:09AM (70') - With 20 minutes left, Norway is getting closer to their first win of the Olympic tournament. The United States has been getting closer to scoring a goal yet they haven't really had many opportunities and they are getting fewer and fewer as time goes by. If they can just get one goal, the United States can feed off some sort of momentum.

9:07AM (68') - Two substitutions made for Norway, including Lene Mykiaaland coming in.

9:00AM (61') - Kai with another nice shot opportunity as she tried to kick a lob shot in to the net but it gets too far away. Then O'Reilley hits a shot that is too high. The United States is again progressing very well offensively but still has nothing to show for it as time starts to run out.

8:57AM (58') - Natasha Kai with a shot that just gets into the hands of Skarboe.

8:52AM (53') - Hope Solo made an excellent save and then on the other end, the Norwegians are doing their best to maintain their lead by cutting down any offensive momentum that the United States is trying to build Free kick coming up.

8:48AM (48') - Melissa Wiik had an opening but her shot gets into the hands of Hope Solo.

8:45AM - Amy Rodriquez is in for Lindsay Tarpley after a substitution was made for the United States. The second half is now underway.

8:38AM - Here are the current scores as of halftime:
China 1, Sweden 1.
North Korea 1, Nigeria 0.
Norway 2, United States 0.

8:30AM (Half) - Not even any injury time as the first half comes to a close. It was a a shaky first couple of minutes as Norway took advantage of defensive errors made by the United States. The Norwegians quickly scored in the 2nd and 4th minutes but then the United States started to find their own rhythm and are getting some shots off. In the first half, the United States made three shots on goal compared to Norway's two shots. Each had a corner kick and the United States committed four fouls while Norway made three. If the U.S. can score a goal, the defending gold medalists have a little hope for coming out of this game with a draw or a win.

8:28AM (43') - Kate Markgraf taking chances and kicking a shot that went too high. Meanwhile, we haven't seen as much offense from Norway, though they don't need to play aggressively with a 2-0 lead.

8:24AM - Sweden has just tied China and the two teams are at a goal a piece after Schelin makes the nice cross shot to place the ball into the corner of the net. The crowd at Tianjin has quieted down somewhat as they enter the 40th minute.

8:20AM - Lindsay Tapley with another quick shot that catches Skarboe off guard but she's able to make the save. The United States is slowly making little adjustments to their game and the forwards are trying to find good locations to make their shots.

8:16AM - Update on the other scores: China 1-0 Sweden, North Korea 1-0 Nigeria.

8:14AM (30') - A third of the way through this game and the match has settled down a bit. Neither team has had any real opportunities but Norway is focusing more on their defense than their offense as they are playing with a 2-0 cushion. A lot of this game, especially for the young United States team, is playing experimentally and seeing where they can get their shots.

8:11AM (26') - Heather O'Reilley with another shot opportunity that is deflected high. The United States is starting to feel a rhythm in this game, quite a positive sign after giving up two goals early to Norway.

8:02AM (19') - Natasha Kai of the United States taking a shot from way far back and it goes wide left.

7:58AM (15') - The United States is trying to set up an offensive side but the experienced Norway defenders are standing strong and the Norwegian goalkeeper Skarboe is doing her part as well. We'll have to see if the United States can do anything to get out of this 2-0 hole, but so far there hasn't been much structure to their game.

7:50AM - Huge cheers for China as they have scored their first goal of the games against Sweden. The shot made after the previous one hit the crossbar. The goalkeeper unable to recover and China is up 1-0 over Sweden.

7:48AM (4') - NORWAY HAS SCORED AGAIN! Melissa Wiik scoring as she found an opening. The defenders for the United States just aren't in the right spot and Wiik easily puts the ball on the left corner of the net. Norway 2, USA 0.

7:46AM (2') - NORWAY HAS SCORED! The goalkeeper Hope Solo came out of the box and Leni Larsen Kaurin scores the first goal of the game. The defending gold medal champions are down 0-1 to Norway early in the game.

7:42AM: The national anthems are being played and we are moments away from kickoff in Qinhuangdao. Norway is in red and the United States are playing in white.

7:40AM: As we are minutes away from kickoff, there are some other games going on at the same time as preliminary matches in women's soccer get underway. China is getting set to face Sweden while North Korea will be facing Nigeria. We will have updates on those games throughout the next couple of hours as well.

7:35AM: Let's take a look at the rosters for both Team USA and Team Norway.

10WIIK MelissaF
18NILSEN ChristineGK

2MITTS HeatherD
3RAMPONE ChristieD Captain
7BOXX ShannonM
9O REILLY HeatherM
11LLOYD CarliM
16HUCLES AngelaM
6KAI NatashaF
12CHENEY LaurenF
13HEATH TobinM
14COX StephanieD/

7:31AM: The United States and Norway have won the last three Olympic Games since women's soccer made its debut in 1996. After the United States won in Atlanta, Norway's golden goal eventually led to a gold medal in Sydney. Then last year, it was redemption for the United States when they won the gold medal in extra time over Brazil. Today, the only two nations that have won gold medals in Olympic competition will face off in preliminary action.

7:30AM - Welcome back to our LIVE BLOG coverage of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. Earlier today, we saw a very close and competitive match between Germany and Brazil in a rematch of the Women's World Cup final last year. The match ended in a 0-0 tie. Now, we will be focusing on the match between the United States and Norway, two teams who have had a fierce rivalry in the sport of women's soccer. The starting lineups are coming up next.

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