WNT Draws 0-0 with Iceland to Win Group B and Earn Place in Algarve Cup Championship

WNT Draws 0-0 with Iceland to Win Group B and Earn Place in Algarve Cup Championship

LAGOS, Portugal (March 9, 2015) – In a scrappy game that featured 29 fouls, including 18 from Iceland, the U.S. Women’s National Team played to a 0-0 draw in its final Group B match at the 2015 Algarve Cup.

The tie was good enough for the USA to take first place in Group B with seven points. As one of the top two group winners, the U.S. earned a berth in the championship game against France on March 11. The venue and kickoff time will be confirmed later today, and the match will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1.

Iceland proved to be an organized and aggressive team as it dropped back into a defensive posture for the entire match and tried to launch long balls that were dealt with well by the USA’s back line. The U.S. put together numerous dangerous attacks that led to quite a few crosses, but could not pierce Iceland’s bunker.

France defeated Japan 3-1 to take all nine points from its three Group C games. The USA and France met recently on Feb. 8 in Lorient, France, in what was the first match of the year for the U.S. Women. The USA fell 2-0 as France scored twice in a two-minute span in the second half.

Goal Scoring Rundown:

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Hope Solo, 45th+1 minute: Iceland had created virtually no scoring chances through the first 45 minutes when the ball popped to Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir in the first minute of first-half stoppage time. She got off a dangerous shot high to the middle of the goal, but Solo flew to push the ball over the bar for a corner kick.

ISL – Gudbjörg Gunnarsdóttir, 67th minute: The USA pushed for a goal against the Iceland bunker for most of the match and Kelley O’Hara’s shot from distance in the 67th minute almost slipped through the hands of Gunnarsdóttir, but she managed to get enough of the ball to push the rocket over the crossbar.

ISL – Gudbjörg Gunnarsdóttir, 83th minute: Christen Press came on in the 60th minute and made an impact offensively, especially when she squared up on goal in the 83rd minute and fired on a line from 23 yards out. The ball was headed toward the right corner of the net, but Gunnarsdóttir dove to her left to push it outside the post.

Milestone Watch:

  • Abby Wambach made her 237th appearance and ranks sixth on the all-time WNT list, two games behind fifth-place Joy Fawcett (239 games from 1987-2004).
  • Defender Lori Chalupny earned her 98th cap. She is just two appearances away from hitting the century mark, which 30 other WNT players have reached.
  • Goalkeeper Hope Solo earned her 80th shutout.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT faces France in the Championship Game at the 2015 Algarve Cup on Wednesday, March 11. Kickoff and venue will be announced shortly.
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 1
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram

Additional Notes:

  • This will be the USA’s 14th Algarve Cup title game in 20 trips to the tournament and the U.S. is going for its 10th title.
  • With nine titles, the USA is far and away the leader in all-time Algarve Cup championships.
  • The USA moved to 12-0-2 all-time against Iceland. The other draw, back in 2000, also finished 0-0.
  • The USA has played France three times at the Algarve Cup, winning all three matches. They have never faced each other in an Algarve Cup title game.
  • The U.S. is now 3-1-1 in 2015.
  • U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made six changes from the starting lineup that faced Norway on March 6, giving Kelley O’Hara, Tobin Heath, Heather O’Reilly and Rachel Van Hollebeke their first starts of the tournament.
  • Ellis used all six substitutes, starting with Carli Lloyd replacing Meghan Klingenberg at halftime. Lauren Holiday, Christen Press and Amy Rodriguez game on in the 60th minute for O’Reilly, Heath and Abby Wambach, respectively, while Shannon Boxx and Sydney Leroux played the last 15 minutes in place of Morgan Brian and Alex Morgan, respectively.
  • Wambach captained the USA.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Iceland
Date: March 9, 2015
Competition: 2015 Algarve Cup – Group B
Venue: Municipal Stadium; Lagos, Portugal
Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. local
Attendance: 500
Weather: 64 degrees, cool and clear

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            0          0          0
ISL                               0          0          0

USA: 1-Hope Solo; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Rachel Van Hollebeke, 25-Meghan Klingenberg (10-Carli Lloyd, 46); 9-Heather O’Reilly (12-Lauren Holiday, 60), 16-Lori Chalupny, 14-Morgan Brian (7-Shannon Boxx, 76), 17-Tobin Heath (23-Christen Press, 60); 13-Alex Morgan (2-Sydney Leroux, 76), 20-Abby Wambach (capt.) (8-Amy Rodriguez, 60)
Subs Not Used: 3-Christie Rampone, 11-Ali Krieger, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 22-Crystal Dunn, 24-Ashlyn Harris, 26-Julie Johnston
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

NOR: 13-Gudbjörg Gunnarsdóttir; 2-Anna María Baldursdóttir (20-Elísa Vidarsdóttir 85), 4-Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir, 15-Anna Björk Kristjánsdóttir, 11-Hallbera Gudný Gísladóttir; 18-Gudný Björk Ódinsdóttir (21-Fanndís Fridriksdóttir, 56), 7-Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir, 14-Gunnhildur Yrsa Jónsdóttir (17-Ásgerdur Baldursdóttir, 70), 6-Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir (22-Rakel Hönnudóttir, 56), 10-Dagný Brynjarsdóttir; 16-Harpa Thorsteinsdóttir (23-Gudmunda Brynja Óladóttir, 85)    
Subs Not Used: 1-Sandra Sigurdardóttir, 3-Lára Kristín Pedersen, 5-Arna Sif Ásgrímsdóttir, 8-Katrín Ómarsdóttir, 12-Sonný Lára Thráinsdóttir, 19-Elín Metta Jensen
Head Coach: Frey Alexandersson

Stats Summary: USA / ISL
Shots: 8 / 2
Shots on Goal: 5 / 2
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 6 / 1
Fouls: 11 / 18
Offside: 4 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
ISL – Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir (caution)        14th minute
USA – Alex Morgan (caution)                        53
ISL – Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir (caution)       72
ISL – Elísa Vidarsdóttir (cuation)                    89

Referee: Abirami Naidu (SIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Sarah Ho (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Widiya Shamsuri (MAS)
Fourth Official: Stephanie Frappart (FRA)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Becky Sauerbrunn