US SoccerUS Soccer
News

U.S. Women Roll Past Norway, 4-0, at 2008 Algarve Cup; WNT Advances to Sixth Straight Algarve Cup Final


ALVOR, Portugal (March 10, 2008) – The U.S. Women’s National Team got four second half goals from four different players in a 4-0 win over Norway, sending the USA to its sixth consecutive Algarve Cup final. The U.S. got goals from Natasha Kai, Abby Wambach and Heather O’Reilly in an 11-minute span before second-half sub Amy Rodriguez finished the scoring in the 90th minute.

The win gave the U.S. Women a perfect nine points in Group B and they will now face Group A winner Denmark for the championship on Wednesday, March 12, at Municipal Stadium in Vila Real de San Antonio. Kickoff is at 1:15 p.m. local / 9:15 a.m. ET and fans can follow live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

Denmark defeated Finland, 1-0, to take full points from their group in three consecutive 1-0 wins. The U.S. and Denmark are the only two teams in the tournament that have yet to allow a goal. The final will be a rematch of last year’s Algarve Cup final, won 2-0 by the United States.

The U.S. started the match against Norway with a superior goal difference in the group from its first two matches and needed just a tie to make it to the title game. Still, Norway must have been satisfied with the 0-0 halftime score, especially after putting some intense pressure on the U.S. net in the first 15 minutes, highlighted by a thunderous 22-yard shot off the crossbar by Ingvild Stensland in the 11th minute.

Making just her sixth appearance and surely her most important match thus far for the U.S. National Team, goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart played an excellent game, smoothly handling every ball that was served her way and also came up with a big save in the 43rd minute. Isabell Herlovsen got behind the U.S. defense down the left flank and raced toward the penalty box. Barnhart came out to challenge and when Herlovsen tried to loop her shot over the U.S. ‘keeper from the top of the box, she got a hand on the ball and deflected it wide left of the goal. The touch by Barnhart took enough speed off the ball so that Kate Markgraf could recover to run it down and clear it away.

Norway certainly got high marks for efficiency in the match, taking five total shots, putting four on goal and one off the crossbar.

While the chances for both Stensland and Herlovsen could have changed the match, the U.S. weathered the storm and started to assert themselves in the final 30 minutes before the break. The U.S. was fighting against stiff winds in the first half, but with the gusts at their back in the second half, they took over the game and started a four-goal outburst in the 55th minute.

The first goal came on a play, and in a half, that Norway goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth will surely try to forget quickly. Hjelmseth got the ball in her hands after sliding out to the top of the penalty box at the feet of Wambach. After gathering herself and letting almost all of the U.S. and Norwegian players jog up-field, Hjelmseth placed the ball down at the top of the penalty area in preparation to kick it off the ground. She didn’t however, see Kai lurking to her left. As Hjelmseth took a few steps backwards, Kai was sprinting to the ball, but the Norwegian goalkeeper saw her too late. Kai swooped in, won the ball off Hjelmseth’s desperate lunging tackle, knocking it forward with her leg, and then simply dribbled the ball into the open net. It was Kai’s first goal of 2008, and her 9th international goal, the first two of which were scored at the Algarve Cup in 2006.

The goal rocked the Norwegians, who found themselves down 2-0 just two minutes later. That goal originated on the left side as Lori Chalupny slipped a short pass to Carli Lloyd who was making a run into the penalty area. Lloyd took a touch to beat her defender to the end line and was cut down on the tackle, but not before driving her left-footed cross into the middle. Wambach was crashing the goal with Gunhild Følstad draped all over her, but still had the strength to dive and bundle the ball into the net with her chest right on the goal line. The goal was Wambach’s second of the tournament and 88th of her career.

The third goal came as the U.S. began to dominate and earned two successive corner kicks. The first corner came after substitute Lindsay Tarpley had her blistering shot from 12 yards pushed outside the right post by Hjelmseth. On the ensuing corner kick, Rodriguez got a crack at goal and her shot was deflected over the end line by a defender. Carli Lloyd then drove a long service that flew over the pack of players to Leslie Osborne who was standing a few yards from the right elbow of the goal box. She sent a perfect header back to the far post for O’Reilly, who jumped over two Norwegian defenders to head the ball home from close range. It was O’Reilly’s second goal of the tournament and 17th of her career.

Norway kept fighting, but the Americans continued to knock the ball around with aplomb and were gifted a fluky goal in the final minute of regulation time. Stephanie Cox played a long ball down the left wing that Wambach got a light touch on, sending Rodriguez behind the defense. She raced in on goal from the left and hit a soft shot with the outside of her right foot. Somehow, the Norwegian goalkeeper miss-judged the spin on the ball, dove to corral it, but instead let it roll over her body and just over the goal line before she could recover. It was Rodriguez’ third international goal.

The U.S. backs did well holding high on the restraining line, then dropping to win Norway’s long services. Anything that got over their heads was gobbled up or cleared by Barnhart. Markgraf played 90 minutes for the first time since the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup after recovering from an ankle injury and Christie Rampone had another stellar game, while also getting a rest for the first time in the tournament when she exited with 15 minutes remaining.

The U.S. did have several good chances in the first half, including two shots from the top of the penalty box by Angie Woznuk, who made her first-ever start for the full Women’s National Team. Wambach also saw an excellent volley palmed away by Hjelmseth and O’Reilly had a near miss, skipping her shot just past the left post from 14 yards out. But in the end, the U.S. took their chances well after the break to put the game away.

For the third straight match, U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage made all six of the allowed substitutions, also giving time to defender Cat Whitehill and midfielder Tobin Heath.

In the other Group A match, Italy defeated China, 2-0, to relegate the Chinese to the match for ninth place, where they will face Portugal, a 3-0 loser to Iceland in Group C. In Group A, Germany defeated Sweden, 2-0, to earn a spot in the third-place game against Norway. Sweden will play Italy for fifth place. Iceland will play Finland for seventh place. In the other Group C game, Ireland defeated Poland, 1-0, and the two countries will play each other again for eleventh place.

- U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT -

Match-up: USA vs. Norway
Competition: 2008 Algarve Cup
Venue: Restinga Stadium; Alvor, Portugal
Date: March 10, 2008; Kickoff – 3 p.m. local / 11 a.m. ET
Attendance: 300
Weather: Cloudy, windy – 64 degrees

Scoring Summary:
          1   2   F
USA  0   4   4
NOR 0   0   0

USA – Natasha Kai (unassisted) 55th minute.
USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd) 57.
USA—Heather O’Reilly (Leslie Osborne) 65.
USA – Amy Rodriguez (Abby Wambach) 90.

Lineups:
USA: 24-Nicole Barnhart; 26-Rachel Buehler, 15-Kate Markgraf, 3-Christie Rampone – Capt. (4-Cat Whitehill, 75), 17-Lori Chalupny (14-Stephanie Cox, 75); 7-Shannon Boxx (12-Leslie Osborne, 63), 11-Carli Lloyd, 10-Angie Woznuk (5-Lindsay Tarpley, 46), 9-Heather O’Reilly (13-Tobin Heath, 70); 6-Natasha Kai (19-Amy Rodriguez 63), 20-Abby Wambach.
Subs not used: 8-Lauren Cheney, 16-Angela Hucles 18-Hope Solo.
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

NOR: 12-Ingrid Hjelmseth: 2-Ane Horpestad, 3-Gunhild Følstad (15-Marita Lund, 58), 5-Siri Nordby,18-Runa Vikestad; 4-Ingvild Stensland, 6-Marie Knutsen, 7-Lene Storløkken, 9-Isabell Herlovsen, 10-Melissa Wiik, 11-Leni Kaurin (14-Guro Knutsen, 68).
Subs not used: 1-Erika Skarbø, 8-Solveig Gulbrandsen, 13-Christine Nielsen, 16-Elise Thorsnes, 17-Lene Mykjaland, 19-Marit Chistensen, 20-Kristin Lie.
Head Coach: Bjarne Berntsen

Statistical Summary:
USA / NOR
Shots:
16/ 5
Shots on Goal: 10 / 5
Saves: 4 / 6
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 6 / 15
Offside: 2 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Carli Lloyd (caution) 30th minute.

Officials
Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus (GER)
Asst. Referee: Vivian Peeters (NED)
Asst. Referee: Alejandra Cercato (ARG)
4th Official: Alexandra Ihingova (ENG)

Sierra Mist Woman of the Match: Christie Rampone

2008 Algarve Cup Standings
Group A

Team

W

L

T

Pts.

GF

GA

GD

DEN

3

0

0

9

3

0

+3

GER

2

1

0

6

5

1

+4

SWE

1

2

0

3

3

4

-1

FIN

0

3

0

0

1

7

-6


March 5
Denmark 1, Germany 0
Sweden 3, Finland 1

March 7
Germany 3, Finland 0
Denmark 1, Sweden 0

March 10
Denmark 1, Finland 0.
Germany 2, Sweden 0

Group B
Team

W

L

T

Pts.

GF

GA

GD

USA

3

0

0

9

10

0

+10

NOR

2

1

0

6

7

7

E

ITA

1

2

0

3

4

6

-2

CHN

0

3

0

0

1

9

-8


March 5
USA 4, China 0
Norway 4, Italy 2

March 7
USA 2, Italy 0
Norway 3, China 1

March 10
USA 4, Norway 0
Italy 2, China 0

Group C
Team

W

L

T

Pts.

GF

GA

GD

ISL

3

0

0

9

7

1

+6

POR

2

1

0

6

5

4

+1

IRE

1

2

0

3

2

6

-4

POL

0

3

0

0

1

6

-5


March 5
Iceland 2, Poland 0
Portugal 2, Ireland 0

March 7
Portugal 3, Poland 1
Iceland 4, Ireland 1

March 10
Iceland 3, Portugal 0
Ireland 1, Poland 0

Placement Matches
March 12
Teams Match Venue Kickoff (local)
Poland vs. Ireland 11th Place Guia 10 a.m.
Portugal vs. China 9th Place Montechoro 10 a.m.
Iceland vs. Finland 7th Place Louie 10:30 a.m.
Sweden vs. Italy 5th Place Olhao 10:30 a.m.
Germany vs. Norway 3rd Place VR de SA 10:00 a.m.
USA vs. Denmark Championship VR de SA 1:15 p.m.

×