Wambach Moves Past Michelle Akers into Third on U.S. All-Time Scoring List with 106th and 107th Career Goals
Lilly Becomes Oldest Player to Score for USA
Next Up for WNT are Matches Against Sweden on July 13 in Omaha, Neb. and July 17 in East Hartford, Conn .
CLEVELAND, Ohio (May 22, 2010) – The U.S. Women’s National Team scored two goals in each half for a highly impressive 4-0 victory against Germany in front of more than 10,000 fans who came out to witness a clash between the world’s top two teams according to the latest FIFA rankings.
The USA started the match with a rough first 20 minutes that featured numerous giveaways in the midfield but then starting stringing passes together. The possession flipped the game on the Germans, who were definitely the aggressors early on as star forward Inka Grings was caught offside three times in the first quarter of an hour.
The U.S. pressure led to the first score when Abby Wambach collected a service in the penalty area with her back to the goal. As she turned, she banged bodies with German defender Saskia Bartusiak, who had arm hooked around Wambach’s upper body. Wambach went down and referee Margaret Domka pointed to the penalty spot.
Wambach stepped up to take the kick herself and hit a low shot that skimmed the inside of the left post before going into the net. The 29th-minute goal was the 106th of Wambach’s career, moving her past the great Michelle Akers into sole possession of third place all the U.S. all-time scoring list, behind only Mia Hamm (158) and Kristine Lilly, who scored her 130th career goal later in the match.
First, though, the USA doubled its lead in the 35th minute off a corner kick from the left side that Lilly spun into the middle of the penalty area. Wambach rose to send a powerful header straight at the center of the goal. German ‘keeper Nadine Angerer batted the ball down with two hands, but it fell directly to Amy Rodriguez, who was framing the goal. The ball hit Rodriguez on the thigh and dropped to the ground, but she quickly touched the ball away from Angerer to her right and it rolled into the path of Heather O’Reilly, who blasted the ball into the open net from close range.
It was the first goal of 2010 for O’Reilly but the 26th of her international career. O’Reilly had been denied in the early part of the match when Angerer stuffed her one-one-one chance, one of several great saves from the German goalkeeper during the match.
Germany hit several shots early in the game, but they were easy saves for Solo. That changed in the 26th minute when Kerstin Garefrekes went on a nice dribbling run down the left side and fired at goal, forcing Solo to dive to her left and snag the shot.
One minute earlier, O’Reilly had gotten free in the right side of the penalty area, but her chip flew over the head of an open Wambach at the far post.
In the 27th minute, a great series of passes on the left wing got Lilly squared up with a defender right near the end line. She somehow cut past her in the tightest of spaces, but her short pass back to Wambach hit the U.S. forward on the heel and then bounced back to Lilly, who was in an offside position.
After the first U.S. goal, Angerer continued her fine work, diving spectacularly to her left to push away a blast from Shannon Boxx in the 32nd minute. On the ensuing corner kick, Wambach sent a header low to the right corner, but the German goalkeeper batted it away again.
In the 37th minute, Wambach was seemingly chopped down from behind as she sprinted into the middle of the penalty area to get on the end of a O’Reilly cross.
Sundhage sent on defender Ali Krieger at halftime and the FFC Frankfurt right back slid into the same position for the USA where she faced off against five of her club teammates. Krieger played very well in just her third career cap and first since January of 2008.
Germany made a push at the beginning of the second half to pull a goal back, but once again the USA answered and instead put the game away with two goals in two minutes.
The goal that made it 3-0 came in the 62nd minute as Wambach bullied her way through a tackle on the left sideline and then nutmegged a German defender who came out to challenge. Wambach then drove to the near post, drawing another defender before deftly cutting a pass back to Lilly. The 38-year-old midfielder, who is the world’s all-time caps leader, then became the oldest player in U.S. history to score a goal, cutting her left-footed shot off the right post and into the net.
For Lilly, who played in her 345th game for the USA, it was her first goal in a U.S. uniform since Oct. 17, 2007, against Mexico and the 130th of her historic career.
Just about a minute later, O’Reilly chipped a pass from midfield into Lori Lindsey, who in turn slipped a perfect ball in behind the defense to the sprinting Wambach. With a defender on her hip, Wambach slid to curl a 10-yard shot past the charging Angerer and into the net for her 107th career score.
As the USA was attacking with fervor, Solo was keeping things tight at the back. In the 58th minute, a pass was looped over the U.S. defense into the left side of the penalty area and Garefrekes got a good hit on it. Solo stepped out to close down the angle and made a fanatic save to push a shot away that was surely headed into the upper right corner of the net.
In the 68th minute, Solo saved the U.S. again after a bad giveaway near the top of the U.S. penalty area. German star Birgit Prinz blazed in to steal the ball and tried to shoot low into the right corner, but Solo dove to knock the ball away.
With just four minutes left, towering German substitute Alexandra Popp powered her way up the middle of the U.S. defense, but Solo made another great stop, leaping to push the ball over the goal with both hands.
Angerer also had her share of excellent stops in the second half, most notably in the 59th minute, when she made a brilliant point-blank save on Shannon Boxx after O’Reilly had run down a cross on the left side of the goal box and touched it back to the U.S. captain for a wide-open look.
For the most part, the USA did a good job of keeping Prinz and her 126 career goals and Grings, the leading scorer this past season in German Women’s Bundesliga, in front of them, as center-backs Rachel Buehler and Amy LePeilbet held down the middle while Stephanie Cox and Heather Mitts did some fine ball-winning on the flanks before giving way to Kate Markgraf and Krieger, respectively.
Grings did almost convert in the 60th minute when she raced into the left side of the U.S. penalty area, but her shot on the ground skipped just outside the right post.
Markgraf entered the game in the 63rd minute to earn her 199th career cap and her first since having twins in the middle of 2009. It was the first cap for the veteran U.S. defender, who started in the last six world championships for the USA, since December of 2008.
The USA could have easily increased its lead in the final 15 minutes, when O’Reilly misfired on a one-on-one chance in the 77th minute, followed by Angerer stuffing 20-year-old Alex Morgan’s mini-breakaway with a kick save a minute later. Morgan, one of the stars of the U.S. team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, earned just her second career cap. She did put the ball in the net in the dying minutes of the match, but she was ruled to be in an offside position after Wambach unselfishly played her a pass that she easily could have shot to earn a hat trick.
The victory made it three wins in a row for the USA against Germany, the first time the Americans have accomplished that feat in almost nine years. It was the largest margin of victory for the USA over Germany since a 6-0 win in 1996, and the teams have played 18 times since.
The U.S. players will now return to their WPS clubs for matches next weekend and won’t come together again until mid-July for two matches against Sweden, on July 13 in Omaha, Neb. and on July 17 in East Hartford, Conn.
U.S. Women's National Team Match Report
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Germany
Date: May 22, 2010
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Cleveland Browns Stadium; Cleveland, Ohio
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Weather: Humid, sunny – 74 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 2 4
GER 0 0 0
USA – Abby Wambach (penalty kick) 29
USA – Heather O’Reilly (Amy Rodriguez) 35
USA – Kristine Lilly (Abby Wambach) 62
USA – Abby Wambach (Lori Lindsey) 63
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts (16-Ali Krieger, 46), 26-Rachel Buehler, 6-Amy LePeilbet, 14-Stephanie Cox (15-Kate Markgraf, 63); 9-Heather O’Reilly, 7-Shannon Boxx – Capt., 5-Lori Lindsey (12-Yael Averbuch, 79), 13-Kristine Lilly (11-Megan Rapinoe, 69); 8-Amy Rodriguez (21-Alex Morgan, 64), 20-Abby Wambach
Subs not used: 18-Nicole Barnhart, 22-Brittany Taylor
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage
GER: 11-Nadine Angerer; 3-Saskia Bartusiak, 5-Annike Krahn (23-Navina Omilade), 10-Linda Bresonik, 15-Sonja Fuss, 17-Ariane Hingst (14-Kim Kulig, 60), 6-Simone Laudehr, 7-Melanie Behringer (13-Célia Okoyino da Mbabi, 60), 18-Kerstin Garefrekes, 9-Birgit Prinz – Capt. (27-Alexandra Popp, 69), 8-Inka Grings
Subs not used: 12-Ursula Holl, 16-Martina Müller, 26-Bianca Rech,
Head Coach: Silvia Neid
Statistical Summary: USA / GER
Shots: 14 / 12
Shots on Goal: 12 / 6
Saves: 6 / 8
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 11 / 15
Offside: 5 / 6
GER – Birgit Prinz (caution) 42nd minute
USA – Abby Wambach (caution) 44
GER – Alexandra Popp (caution) 89
Referee: Margaret Domka (USA)
Assistant Referee: Deborah Coleman (USA)
Assistant Referee: Marlene Duffy (USA)
Fourth Official: Michelle Cowman (USA)
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