• Abby Wambach Bags Sixth Career Hat Trick
• Rachel Buehler Scores First Career Goal; Amy Rodriguez Adds Her Ninth
• Next Up for USA is Guatemala on Oct. 30 at 8:30 p.m. ET at Estadio Quintana Roo
CANCUN, Mexico (Oct. 28, 2010) – The U.S. Women’s National Team rolled to a 5-0 victory againstHaiti to open play at the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament as forward Abby Wambach scored three goals.
Defender Rachel Buehler opened the scoring with her first career international goal in her 43rd cap and Amy Rodriguez scored her ninth career goal off an assist from Wambach.
With the result, the USA sits atop Group B after Costa Rica defeated Guatemala 1-0 in the first group match of the evening. Group A, featuring Mexico, Canada, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana, commences play tomorrow.
The top two finishers in each group will cross over in the semifinals with the winners of those matches earning berths to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. The winner of the third-place match will compete in a two-game playoff against Italy, which won the playoff for fifth place in Europe, for the final berth to Germany.
In what was the first Women’s World Cup qualifying match for six U.S. starters, the Americans quickly found out that they were facing a committed Haiti side, but soon settled down and found the net four times before halftime, including three goals that came off set plays.
The first goal came in the eighth minute after Wambach was cut down 24 yards from the goal straight away. The ball was touched to the right for Carli Lloyd who drove a knuckling shot toward the upper right corner that was batted down on a great save from Haitian goalkeeper Geralda Saintillius. The crashing Buehler was first to the bouncing ball and smashed it into the net from three yards out.
The second goal came seven minutes later after a Yael Averbuch corner kick from the left side. Shannon Boxx got her head on it, sending the ball toward goal and Wambach flicked it with the back of her head past several defenders and into the net . It was Wambach’s 44th career header goal, and she would add two more, but not before setting one up herself.
The USA's third goal was also scored off a corner kick, this one coming in the 40th minute as Averbuch sent a looping cross to the far post from the right side. Wambach ran under it and touched it back into the goal mouth on a bounce over several defenders to Rodriguez, who simply struck the ball into the net from literally right on goal line. It was the ninth career goal for Rodriguez in what was her 50th career cap. Rodriguez became the 38th U.S. player to reach that mark.
The fourth goal was from the run of play and it came just seconds into stoppage time of the first half. Lloyd lost a defender deep in the right side of the box with a dynamic spin move and then curled a left-footed cross into the middle where the crashing Wambach ran through the ball and plowed it into the net with her hip/abdomen.
The Americans struggled to find a consistent rhythm throughout the match, but still played most of the game inside Haiti’s defensive half. To the Haitians credit, they worked hard for the entire 90 minutes and played organized defense to record their best-ever result against the United States.
Despite numerous chances, the USA managed just one goal in the second half and it was created by halftime substitute Kristine Lilly who earned her 350th cap, extending her world record yet again.
Lilly’s nifty spin dribble into the left side of the box in the 62nd minute freed her from a defender. She then lofted a perfect far post chip to Wambach who headed on the bounce into the right side of the net. Her 45th career header goal completed her sixth career hat trick (which includes one five-goal game) and upped her international total to 112.
Haiti's best two chances came in dying minutes, but one hard shot went wide left and then a header off a free kick skipped away from danger.
Lloyd played an excellent match in the center midfield while picking up two assists and came close to scoring on several occasions. She actually hit the outside of the left post twice in a row off corner kick in the 18th minute, first on a header and again on a volley after ball came right back to her.
After the match, the U.S. players visited the Haitians in their locker room to pass on the cleats, clothes, additional soccer gear and comfort items they had brought with them from the United States. Wambach spoke briefly to the Haitians, praising their fighting spirit during the match and explaining the motivation for the gifts.
She said that the U.S. players wanted to show their support for all that the Haitian players are going through in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and expressed the hope that they would take the few gifts and go back with a smile on their faces as they help rebuild their country.
“We wanted them to know that they were thinking of them and we wished them good luck in the rest of the tournament,” said Wambach. The U.S. players then chatted with the Haitian players and posed for pictures.
The 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup will take place from June 26-July 17 in nine venues across Germany: Berlin, Frankfurt, Mönchengladbach, Sinsheim, Wolfsburg, Augsburg, Bochum, Dresden and Leverkusen.
U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report
U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Haiti
Date: Oct. 28, 2010
Competition: 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament – Group B
Venue: Estadio Quintana Roo; Cancun, Mexico
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Local (8:30 p.m. ET)
Weather: Warm, breezy – 79 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 4 1 5
HAI 0 0 0
USA – Rachel Buehler (Carli Lloyd) 8th minute.
USA – Abby Wambach (Shannon Boxx) 15.
USA – Amy Rodriguez (Abby Wambach) 40.
USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd) 45+
USA – Abby Wambach (Kristine Lilly) 62.
USA: 18-Nicole Barnhart; 2-Heather Mitts, 6-Amy LePeilbet, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 26-Rachel Buehler; 9-Heather O’Reilly (15-Megan Rapinoe, 46), 7-Shannon Boxx, 10-Carli Lloyd, 4-Yael Averbuch (13-Kristine Lilly, 46); 8-Amy Rodriguez (12-Lauren Cheney, 57), 20-Abby Wambach
Subs not used: 1-Jill Loyden, 11-Lori Lindsey, 14-Stephanie Cox, 17-Becky Sauerbrunn
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage
HAI: 1-Geralda Saintillius; 3-Frantizcia Francois, 4-Kenci Marseille (capt.), 5-Marie Louine Valcine, 8-Felicia Libertin, 10-Wislin Dolce, 6-Fiorda Charles, 14-Samantha Brand (13-Maria Yves Dina Jean-Pierre, 68), 9-Adeline Saintilmond, 15-Kimberly Boulos (19-Nadia Valentin, 80), 20-Tatiana Mathelier (11-Sophia Batard, 60)
Subs not used: 7-Betty Sanon, 12-Nuela Antenor, 16-Marie Viola Nord, 17-Roselord Borgella
Head Coach: Agusto Moura de Oliveira
Statistical Summary: USA / HAI
Shots: 26 / 5
Shots on Goal: 17 / 1
Saves: 1 / 8
Corner Kicks: 10 / 1
Fouls: 9 / 9
Offside: 3 / 5
HAI – Kenci Marseille (caution) 28th minute
HAI – Maria Yves Dina Jean-Pierre (caution) 81.
Referee: Carol Anne Chenard (CAN)
Assistant Referee: Cindy Mohammed (TRI)
Assistant Referee: Milagros Leonardo (DOM)
Fourth Official: Shane Da Silva (TRI)
ussoccer.com Woman of the Match: Carli Lloyd