MANCHESTER, England, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Abby Wambach scored early Friday and Sydney Leroux tallied late to put the U.S. women in the Olympic soccer semifinals with a 2-0 win over New Zealand.
The Americans will face Canada in the semifinals Monday after the Canadians downed Britain 2-0 in the final quarterfinal of the night.
France overcame an early deficit with two goals 10 minutes apart in the first half to defeat Sweden 2-1 and set up a semifinal battle with women's World Cup champion Japan.
The Japanese advanced with a 2-0 decision over Brazil.
Wambach gave the Americans the lead in the 27th minute with her fourth goal in as many games at these Olympics and that is the way it stood until the final stages.
New Zealand frantically went into attack mode as time was running out and the absence of a defensive presence proved costly.
A long clearing pass down the left side found Leroux and she outran her only defender to gain possession. Leroux closed in on the net and made no mistake, firing the ball low and hard past 39-year-old New Zealand goalkeeper Jenny Bindon. The goal came in the 87th minute.
The United States has won the last two gold medals and three out of four since women began competing in soccer at the Olympics. The Americans, however, lost to Japan last year in the World Cup and would relish a rematch in the Olympic finals.
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