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U.S. Women Defeat Norway To Make Championship Game of 2011 Algarve Cup


  • Tarpley Scores in First Half, Lloyd in Second as USA Qualifies for Ninth-Consecutive Algarve Cup Final 
  • USA to Face Finland in Monday, March 7, to Finish Group A and Then Will Play Winner of Group B on March 9 at the Stadium Algarve for Title 
  • Fans can follow all the action on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker

VILA REAL de SAN ANTONIO, Portugal (March 4, 2011) – The U.S. Women’s National Team dominated Norway in its second match of the 2011 Algarve Cup, winning 2-0 and earning a spot in the tournament’s championship game for the ninth consecutive year.

Lindsey Tarpley scored in the first half and Carli Lloyd added a goal in the second as the USA out-shot Norway 17-5 while dominating all facets of the game.

The USA will face Finland on Monday, March 7, in its group finale, but the USA’s win against Norway combined with Japan’s 5-0 thrashing of Finland seals first place in Group A for the Americans with one match day left to play.

The USA has six points after victories against Japan and Norway, which both have three points after wins against Finland. Japan and Norway play on March 7 with a winner totaling six points. Even if the USA was to lose to Finland to finish group play with six points as well, the first tie-breaker is the head-to-head results, and with the Americans already having wins against Japan and Norway, the group title has been secured.

The USA’s match against Finland from Quarteira kicks off at 10 a.m. ET while the championship game will be held at the beautiful Estádio Algarve on March 9 with a kickoff of 12 p.m. ET. Fans can follow the action from both games as it happens on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage made just one change to the starting lineup that opened the tournament against Japan on March 2, inserting Tarpley at forward for Lauren Cheney, and it paid off as Tarpley opened the scoring. It was Tarpley’s first start since July 22, 2009, when she also started up top against Canada in Charleston, S.C.

“I think the speed of play was so much better today for pretty much 90 minutes,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage.” It was a little up and down in the first half and the beginning of the second, but we then regained the ball and played aggressively. This is the American attitude and mentality; playing hard, but also being sophisticated enough to create chances and find the find rhythm and Boxx and Lloyd did well today.”

The match started with some good energy from Norway, but after some fairly even play early on, the Americans took over with some excellent attacking rhythm and for 15 minutes before the goal came it seemed as if the USA would break through.

In the 21st minute, the USA produced its best chance of the game to that point as Shannon Boxx fired a shot from above the right side of the penalty area that drew a leaping save from Norwegian goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth, who pushed it over the top for a corner kick.

Five minutes later Tarpley slipped a pass through to Rodriguez in the left side of the penalty box and the U.S. forward sent a left-footed chip over Hjelmseth and off the top of the cross bar.

The first U.S. goal came off a long pass over the Norwegian defense from Rachel Buehler, who was only about 25 yards above her penalty box when she let the ball fly. Rodriguez out-ran two defenders and with her first touch cut into the penalty area from the left. It looked as if Rodriguez had touched it too far, but she scrapped for the ball and managed to pull it away from the reaching hands of Hjelmseth with a back-heel flick to Tarpley, who crushed a first-time, left-footed shot into the open net from nine yards out.

It was the 28th career goal for Tarpley, moving her past Joy Fawcett and into sole possession of 14th place on the USA’s all-time scoring list.

In the 38th minute, the USA put together one of many great attacks down the right side as Ali Krieger played Tarpley, who crossed on the ground to Megan Rapinoe at the near post. Her first-time toe-poke went just wide of the goal.

The second half started much as the first, with Norway trying to up the pressure before the Americans took over with excellent ball possession into the attack. Lloyd doubled the USA’s lead in the 63rd minute and once again the sequence was started by Buehler. She played the ball over to the left side to Rapinoe, who found Lloyd in the middle of the field. Lloyd wound up to shoot with her right foot, losing a defender, then cut to her left and fired a low skimming 23-yard shot that snuck just inside the right post. It was Lloyd’s 25th career international goal and effectively sealed the match.

Sundhage had made three changes at halftime, sending on Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and Becky Sauerbrunn, while Tarpley moved from forward to right midfield. The USA continued to pepper the Norwegian penalty box with chances in the second half, but after Lloyd’s strike could not find another goal. Meanwhile, both teams emptied their benches making the maximum six allowed substitutions per team.

Two highlights in the second half came on close chances as defenders Becky Sauerburnn and Christie Rampone almost scored. In the 58th minute, Sauerbrunn’s half-shot/half-cross flew over the Norwegian ‘keeper and clanked off the crossbar. Later in the half, Rampone got a good strike on a volley from the top of the penalty area after a dipping ball fell to her after a corner kick, but it went right at the ‘keeper.

Defender Whitney Engen came off the bench in the 78th minute to earn her first career cap and became the 194th woman to play for the U.S. Women’s National Team.

The Americans will have to wait until after the third match day to find out who their opponent will be in the championship game as Group B with Sweden, Iceland, Denmark and China is still tightly contested.

The USA is preparing for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup that will take place from June 26-July 17 in nine venues across Germany: Berlin, Frankfurt, Mönchengladbach, Sinsheim, Wolfsburg, Augsburg, Bochum, Dresden and Leverkusen.

The 16 nations competing are: host Germany, Korea DPR, Japan and Australia from Asia and Sweden, Norway, France and England from Europe, New Zealand from Oceania, the USA, Canada and Mexico from CONCACAF, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea from Africa and Brazil and Colombia from South America. 

- U.S. Women's National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Norway
Date: March 4, 2011
Competition: 2011 Algarve Cup – Group A
Venue: Municipal Stadium; Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal
Kickoff: 3 p.m. local / 10 a.m. ET
Attendance: 400
Weather: 55 degrees; Cloudy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
NOR 0 0 0

USA – Lindsay Tarpley (Amy Rodriguez) 33rd minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (Megan Rapinoe) 63

Lineups:
USA: 18-Nicole Barnhart; 11-Ali Krieger (25-Whitney Engen, 78), 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 19-Rachel Buehler, 14-Stephanie Cox (22-Becky Sauerbrunn, 46); 9-Heather O’Reilly (20-Abby Wambach, 46), 7-Shannon Boxx, 10-Carli Lloyd (16-Lori Lindsey, 71), 15-Megan Rapinoe (17-Tobin Heath, 71); 5-Lindsay Tarpley, 8-Amy Rodriguez (13-Alex Morgan, 46)
Subs not used: 12-Lauren Cheney, 21-Kelley O’Hara, 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

NOR: 1-Ingrid Hjelmseth (capt.); 3-Maren Mjelde, 4-Nora Berge, 15-Hedda Gardsjord, 18-Guro Knutsen Mienna (5-Ingrid Ryland, 69), 6-Lisa-Marie Woods, 7-Trine Rønning (8-Lena Storløkken, 40), 19-Lene Mykjaland (17-Madeleine Giske, 63), 20-Lise Klaveness (13-Cecilie Pedersen, 63), 9-Isabel Herlovsen (16-Elisa Thorsnes, 63), 11-Leni Larsen Kaurin (10-Lindy Wiik, 81)
Subs not used: 2-Runa Vikestad, 12-Erika Skarbo, 14-Gry Tofte Ims
Head Coach: Eli Landsem

Statistical Summary: USA / NOR
Shots: 17 / 5
Shots on Goal: 7 / 2
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 4 / 1
Fouls: 8 / 8
Offside: 4 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
NOR – Guro Knutsen Mienna (caution) 45th minute
USA – Abby Wambach (caution) 60

Officials:
Referee: Eun Ah Hong (KOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Kyoung Min Kim (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Msiu Mei Liu (TPE)
Fourth Official: Sung Mi Cha (KOR)

Bud Light Woman of the Match: Rachel Buehler

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