SUWON, South Korea (Nov. 2, 2006) – The U.S. Women’s National Team didn’t start top scorers Abby Wambach and Kristine Lilly, but got goals from forward Lindsay Tarpley and defender Cat Whitehill in the first half to record a 2-0 win over the Netherlands in the final Group B match for both teams at the Peace Queen Cup.
Combined with Denmark’s 2-1 win over Australia, the victory gave the USA the Group B title and a place in the championship game of this eight-team tournament. The USA and Denmark both finished group play with seven points from three matches, but the USA had a plus-four goal difference while the Danes finished at plus-two. The USA will face Group A winner Canada for the title on Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Seoul World Cup Stadium in an all-CONCACAF championship game. Kickoff on Saturday in Seoul is at 1:30 p.m. local / 11:30 p.m. ET on Friday.
While the USA dominated the game, out-shooting the Dutch 19-4, the match ended in a bizarre fashion with the Americans playing with just nine players. Lilly, who came off the bench for the first time this year and just the 12th time in her legendary career, was rather harshly sent off in the 79th minute for voicing a disagreement with the referee. It was the first red card of Lilly’s 19-year international career spanning 316 games. Tournament rules are such that she will not be suspended for the championship game.
Four minutes after Lilly was sent to the locker room, Wambach came off with an injury. The USA’s leading scorer with 15 goals this year came off the bench at halftime after starting the first 18 matches of 2006, but had to exit in the 83rd minute for the remainder of the match after she sprained an ankle.
U.S. head coach Greg Ryan had already used all six of the allowed substitutions, forcing the USA the play the last seven minutes of regulation and five minutes of stoppage time with just eight field players. In that long period of stoppage time, Denmark took its only two shots and earned its only two corners of the second half.
In the first half, the USA was attacking the same net that the U.S. Men’s National Team used to score all three goals of its goals on Portugal at Suwon World Cup Stadium during the 2002 World Cup, and it proved almost as fruitful for the women.
After Denmark put a bit of pressure on the U.S. goal in the early going, earning five corner kicks in the first 15 minutes, it was the USA which scored first, that goal coming of a corner kick from the right side.
The first goal came in the 27th minute when forward Natasha Kai, who was making her second career start, rose to meet the service from Kacey White and powered a header toward the goal from about 10 yards out. With her back to the goal, the ball hit Tarpley in the thigh, but she was able to whirl on the bouncing ball and drill it with her left foot into the left side-netting from four yards out past a Dutch defender who was standing helplessly on the goal line. It was Tarpley’s 13th career international goal.
The USA’s second goal came at the very end of stoppage time of the first half. The corner kick came from the left side as Aly Wagner rushed to take it with the seconds ticking away. The service was cleared to the top of the penalty area where Whitehill brought it down and powered her way through the simultaneous tackles of two defenders before smacking a left-footed shot from just on top of the penalty arc. The shot from straight-away center of the goal curved into the lower right corner. It was the 11th career goal for the defender and her fifth of the year, by far a career high.
With Lilly and Wambach resting in the first half, Ryan gave a first career cap to forward Kacey White, who did well on the flank and played all 90 minutes.
Between the two first half goals, Carli Lloyd had two shots at the net that drew saves from Dutch goalkeeper Marleen Wissink and Wagner had a golden chance from 12 yards off a rebound of a Whitehill shot, but she soared her shot high over the bar.
In the 41st minute, Tarpley had a chance to score a remarkably similar goal to her 27th minute strike, latching on to a bouncing ball after a Kai header off a corner kick, but this time her shot was stuffed right off her foot. Two minutes later, Wissink dropped a corner kick as she collided with her own player, and Lloyd poked the loose ball into the net, but it was waved off for a foul even though it was Marloes de Beor that had slammed into her own goalkeeper and not a U.S. player.
Kai had a pair of chances in the waning minutes of the first half as she raced in behind the defense on the left side with one minute left in regulation and took a hard touch into the box. She managed to toe a cross into the goal box, but it was too far in front of the onrushing U.S. attackers as it rolled tantalizingly across the six yard line and over the end line on the other side of the goal.
Kai almost finished a spectacular goal right before Whitehill’s score when her flying scissors kick flew just wide left of the net after she made good contact with a chipped cross from Wagner.
Wambach and Lilly had seven scoring chances between them from the time they came on at halftime until they both left the game late in the match. In an amazing three-minute sequence starting in the 52nd minute, Wambach picked off two Dutch back passes and only had Wissink to beat. On the first one Wissink closed hard and blocked the shot, and Wambach hammered the rebound over the goal. Two minutes later, she squared up on Wissink again, but the Dutch ‘keeper kick-saved her 16-yard shot.
Second later, Lilly’s near-post header off a cross from Wambach had to be pushed away for a corner kick and two minutes after that, a great wall-pass between White and Wambach put the 5-foot-11 striker behind the defense, but she lifted her shot over the crossbar from seven yards away.
Lilly had back-to-back chances in the 70th and 71st minutes, pulling a diving save from Wissink on her 20-yard shot and then forcing the Dutch ‘keeper to tip her shot over the bar after she unleashed a drive from almost the same spot.
Eight minutes later Lilly was sent off and four minutes after that Wambach was forced off with the injury. The U.S. team then dropped back into its own half and preserved the win. Wambach is listed as doubtful for the championship game.
Ryan made eight changes from the lineup that defeated Australia, 2-0, in the USA’s last game, starting a front line of White, Tarpley and Kai, and should have a somewhat rested squad for the championship game despite the grueling four-games in seven days schedule of the Peace Queen Cup.
U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Match-up: USA vs. Netherlands
Competition: 2006 Peace Queen Cup
Venue: Suwon World Cup Stadium; Suwon, South Korea
Date: November 2, 2006; Kickoff – 2:30 p.m. local / 12:30 a.m. ET
Weather: Clear, chilly – 65 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 0 2
NED 0 0 0
USA – Lindsay Tarpley (Natasha Kai) 27th minute.
USA – Cat Whitehill (unassisted) 47+.
USA – 18-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts, 15-Kate Markgraf - Capt. (3-Christie Rampone, 66), 4-Cat Whitehill, 17-Lori Chalupny; 12-Leslie Osborne (21-Marci Miller, 74), 11-Carli Lloyd (23-Joanna Lohman 76), 10-Aly Wagner (16-Angela Hucles, 46); 19-Kacey White, 6-Natasha Kai (20-Abby Wambach, 46), 5-Lindsay Tarpley (13-Kristine Lilly, 46).
Subs not used: 1-Briana Scurry, 8-Tina Frimpong, 14-Amy LePeilbet.
Head Coach: Greg Ryan
NED – 16-Marleen Wissink – Capt.; 2-Dyanne Bito, 4-Marloes de Boer, 5-Petra Hogewoning, 3-Liesbeth Migchelsen; 7-Sylvia Smit, 6-Sherida Spitse, 12-Esther Scheenaard (11-Claudia van den Heiligenberg, 85), 17-Jennifer Voss (8-Anouk Hoogendijk, 78), 19-Nicole Delies (20-Nangila van Eyck, 68), 9-Manon Melis.
Subs not used: 1-Loes Geurts, 13-Chavelli Stolk, 14-Karin Legemate, 15-Dionne Demarteau, 18-Linda Bos.
Head Coach: Vera Pauw
Statistical Summary: USA / NED
Shots: 19 / 4
Shots on Goal: 12 / 1
Saves: 1 / 10
Corner Kicks: 20 / 7
Fouls: 7 / 8
Offside: 4 / 0
USA – Kristine Lilly (ejection) 79th minute.
Referee: Cha Sung Mi (KOR)
Asst. Referee: Kim Yong Min (KOR)
Asst. Referee: Kim Eun Jin (KOR)
4th Official: Park Mi Suk (KOR)
Sierra Mist Woman of the Match: Lindsay Tarpley
Final 2006 Peace Queen Cup Group Standings
Team W L T Pts GF GA GD
CAN 3 0 0 9 10 5 +5
ITA 1 1 1 4 5 5 0
BRA 1 1 1 4 4 5 -1
KOR 0 3 0 0 2 6 -4
Oct. 28 Venue
Brazil 1, South Korea 0 Seoul
Canada 3, Italy 2 Seoul
Oct. 30 Venue
Brazil 1, Italy 1 Masan
Canada 3, South Korea 1 Masan
Nov. 1 Venue
Canada 4, Brazil 2 Changwon
Italy 2, South Korea 1 Changwon
Team W L T Pts GF GA GD
USA 2 0 1 7 5 1 +4
DEN 2 0 1 7 4 2 +2
AUS 1 1 0 3 1 2 -1
NED 0 3 0 0 0 4 -4
Oct. 29 Venue
Australia 1, Holland 0 Gimhae
USA 1, Denmark 1 Gimhae
Oct. 31 Venue
USA 2, Australia 0 Cheonan
Denmark 1, Holland 0 Cheonan
Nov. 2 Venue
USA 2, Holland 0 Suwon
Denmark 2, Australia 1 Suwon
Nov. 4 Venue
USA vs. Canada Seoul
U.S. WNT Quote Sheet
U.S. head coach Greg Ryan on the game:
“Strange game, but I was very happy with the first half with our new front line, Tasha Kai, Kacey White and Lindsay Tarpley. It took us a while to settle in and get a rhythm with the new players, but I thought they did very well individually. We got two set piece goals and it was good to see Tarp get on the score sheet and Cat Whitell just keeps scoring goals, so a great first half to come out 2-0 against a big, strong, physical Dutch team.”
On the second half:
“In the second half we created plenty of chances, great chances, with Abby in front of the net. We broke their pressure building out of the back and had one-on-one chances with the ‘keeper, we just didn’t stick them away. The game got strange after that with Lilly’s red card and Abby taking an injury and we had to play the last 15 minutes with nine players. Very strange.”
On the tactics of playing with eight field players:
“We worked on some of this stuff about what to do (in woman-down situations). When Lil went out we went to a 4-4-1, we played flat across the midfield. Then we played a 4-4-0 at the end and tried to keep the last 10 minutes quiet.”
On the match with Canada in the championship game:
“It’s going to be an interesting game. I understand they have a few players that aren’t with them now, including Charmaine Hooper, and we are probably going to be without Abby. It’s going to be another hard-fought derby with our Northern border friends, but it will be a good game. We match-up, they play a 4-3-3 and we play a 4-3-3. It will be a hard-fought battle, but just a little different because we are both missing key personnel.”
On the Canadian team:
“They have some very physical, hard players and it will be a tough match for both teams.
On the return of Kate Markgraf to the team after the birth of her son on July 18:
“I think she’s playing great. The key thing now is just to help her regain her fitness so she can play 90 minutes. We are trying to play her more and more each game, but we are being very careful as her body recovers from her pregnancy.”
On forward Lindsay Tarpley:
“Tarpley is playing very well. In the past she played in the midfield for us, and over the past few months we’ve played her at forward. She continues to create chances and score goals for our team, so we are very happy that we found another forward who can play alongside Lilly and Wambach and do very well.”
U.S. forward Kristine Lilly on getting the red card:
“I said something to the lineswoman about the call being a handball on the Holland player and not offside. There was frustration in my voice, but it wasn’t directed toward the referee. There was nothing derogatory or disrespectful to the referee. I shouldn’t have said it, but I think something definitely got lost in the translation.”
U.S. defender Christie Rampone after the team went down to nine players:
“It felt comfortable out there. I felt like we adjusted well to the situation and we had it under control.”
On the game:
“We were dominating the game, I felt like we had a lot of chances, and I thought the communication between the players on the field was really good. There was a lot of talk going on out there and it was a good first half.”