Abby Wambach became the first non-British woman to score a goal at Old Trafford in Manchester, England.
Behind Wambach, the United States scored a 1-0 win over North Korea in front of 29,522 fans – easily the largest crowd ever to occupy the familiar red seats for a women’s game.
Old Trafford had previously hosted only domestic women’s games. The last one was an FA Cup final in 1989 that drew fewer than 1,000 fans.
The victory gave the U.S. team first place in its group with three wins in three games, the first time the Americans have ever swept their group opponents in Olympic play. They were already assured a berth in the next round entering the game, and they’ll now move on to Newcastle for a quarterfinal match on Friday against New Zealand.
With a place in the next round assured, U.S. coach Pia Sundhage had her players take it easy in the second half, slowing the pace of play to keep their legs fresh for the quarterfinals. North Korea nearly capitalized with a tying goal, producing several scoring threats in a three-minute stretch that forced Solo to the ground twice.
MEN’S BASKETBALL: LeBron James and Kobe Bryant took a seat, then the U.S. team took control.
The Americans got their expected blowout and fans got the show they came to see in the 110-63 win over Tunisia, but only after U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski started his reserves to open the second half after a lackluster first 20 minutes.
Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love and Andre Iguodala opened the third quarter with a 21-3 run, turning a surprisingly close 13-point lead into a 67-36 bulge before any of the more celebrated starters finally got to play in the second half.
TENNIS: Andy Roddick spent less than an hour on the court during an emphatic loss to Novak Djokovic. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga needed a much longer run to advance against Milos Raonic.
Roddick lost 6-2, 6-1 to Djokovic in 54 minutes, leaving the 29-year-old American to fend off more questions about retirement.
Tsonga of France moved on by winning the longest set in Olympic history. He beat Raonic of Canada 6-3, 3-6, 25-23. The final set lasted three hours and 257 points.
Andy Murray, Marcos Baghdatis and Kei Nishikori also won on the men’s side. Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams were among the winners in the women’s tournament.
DIVING: Chen Ruolin and Wang Hao led China to its third diving gold in London, this one off the big tower in women’s 10-meter synchronized diving. China won going away with 368.40 points, and the country is nearly halfway to its goal of sweeping the eight diving events.
Mexico’s Paola Espinosa and 15-year-old Alejandra Orozco took the silver, and Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion won the bronze for Canada.
SHOOTING: Vincent Hancock is putting together quite the Olympic resume. The 23-year-old U.S. Army sergeant is a two-time champion in men’s skeet shooting after he successfully defended his crown with a score of 148 in London.
SAILING: Ben Ainslie is still chasing Denmark’s Jonas Hoegh-Christensen in the Finn class.
Hoegh-Christensen finished first and second in a pair of races for a 10-point lead over Ainslie after six races. Britain’s Ainslie had finishes of 4-3 as the 24-boat fleet sailed in winds that reached 17 knots.
Ainslie is trying to win his fourth straight gold medal and fifth games medal overall. If he wins gold, he’ll supplant Paul Elvstrom as the greatest sailor in Olympic history.
Ireland’s Annalise Murphy continued her surreal run in the Laser Radial, winning her fourth straight race.