Gaitàn, Colombia fall to France in final group match of Olympics, 1-0

August 1, 2012 | News, UToday
By Brian DeBenedictis


University of Toledo women’s soccer player Natalia Gaitàn and Colombia wrapped up its first-ever appearance in the Summer Olympics Tuesday with a 1-0 loss to France before 13,000 fans at St. James’ Park in Newcastle, England.

With the win, the French (2-1-0) advance to the quarterfinals of the 12-team tournament and will face Sweden in the knockout stage.

France’s Elodie Thomis scored the match’s lone marker in the fifth minute when she snuck in behind Colombia defender Natalia Ariza and chipped a shot over goalkeeper Sandra Sepulveda.

Despite giving up the early goal, Sepulveda had an exceptional final match in Group G and made several saves to keep the French from getting more goals. She pulled off a string of fine stops in the first stanza, turning Thomis’ 26th-minute shot on to the crossbar and then clawing out Gaetane Thiney’s close-range effort five minutes later.

In the second half, Colombia did not go quietly and had its best scoring chance in the 85th minute when Tatiana Ariza was in front of the net but couldn’t get a shot on goal as the French defenders came charging.

Colombia leaves the tourney after dropping decisions to North Korea, 2-0, and to the two-time defending Olympic champion United States, 3-0, in its previous group matches.

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