LA MANGA, Spain (Feb. 26, 2012) – The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team defeated its age-group counterparts from Sweden 2-0 in the opening match of the 2012 Four Nations Tournament in Spain.
The U.S. got their attacking mindset going early and created some excellent scoring chances, narrowly missing the target within the first 10 minutes. Sweden was able to generate several counter attacks, but could not turn them into quality chances. The U.S. was able to maintain a majority of the possession throughout the match and was the more aggressive team in the physical battles.
The first U.S. goal came off a free kick 40 yards out in the 24th minute. Lauren Barnes curled her service to the back post and U.S. midfielder Amber Brooks fought through a crowd of players to hammer home a header into the right corner.
In the 58th minute, the USA doubled its lead as Lindsey Taylor laid a pass to midfielder Zakiya Bywaters, which opened space for her to skate through the defense and curl a right-footed shot into the side netting from 18 yards out.
The U.S. was forced to make its first change of the match in the 27th minute after goalkeeper Bianca Henninger sustained an ankle injury during a collision with Swedish forward Kosovare Asllani, a former player in WPS with quite a bit of experience with her full national team. Adrianna Franch completed the shutout and victory for the U.S. while making several key saves late in the second half.
The match was the first international of the year for the U.S. U-23s and the first international win for new head coach Randy Waldrum. Next up for the USA is the England U-23 Women’s National Team on Feb. 28.
-- U.S. U-23 WNT Match Report --
Match: U.S. U-23 WNT vs. Sweden U-23 WNT
Date: Feb. 26, 2012
Competition: Four Nations Tournament
Venue: La Manga, Spain
Weather: 73 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
SWE 0 0 0
USA – Amber Brooks (Lauren Barnes) 24th minute
USA – Zakiya Bywaters (Lindsey Taylor) 58
USA: 1-Bianca Henninger (18-Adrianna Franch, 27); 2-Elli Reed; 3-Lauren Barnes (9-Bianca D’Agostino, 70); 4-Natasha Anasi; 5-Toni Pressley; 6-Camille Levin; 8-Morgan Marlborough (12-Taylor Lytle, 77); 11-Stephanie Ochs; 13-Zakiya Bywaters (14-Sinnead Farrelly, 81); 15-Lindsey Taylor (21-Vicki DiMartino, 65); 22-Amber Brooks
Subs Not Used: 17-Jazmin Hall; 23-Kika Toulouse
Head Coach: Randy Waldrum
SWE: 2-Josefine Alfsson; 3-Sara Eliasson; 4-Catrin Johansson (6-Freja Hellenberg, 65); 7-Jessica Samuelsson; 8-Louise Fors (16-Linda Mollin, 79); 10-Kosovare Asllani; 11-Emma Lund (19-Jenny Hjolman, 46); 12-Hilda Carlèn; 14-Emilie Konradsson; 17-Olivia Schough (20-Mia Jalkerud, 65); 18-Emilia Appaelqvist
Subs Not Used: 1-Emelie Lundberg; 5-Emma Kullberg; 9-Matilda Agnè
Head Coach: Lilie Persson
Stats Summary: USA / SWEDEN
Shots: 7 / 6
Shots on Goal: 4 / 2
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 5 / 3
Fouls: 6 / 11
Offside: 6 / 0
SWE – Sara Eliasson (caution) 67th minute