- Abby Wambach Scores Twice in Second Half to Up Career Goals to 125
- USA Extends Domestic Unbeaten Streak to 54 Games
- Alex Morgan Adds Her 10th Career Goal in Stoppage Time of Second Half
PORTLAND, Ore. (Sept. 22, 2011) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Canada 3-0 with Abby Wambach scoring a pair of second half goals in front of an electric near sell-out crowd of 18,570 in the second match of the two-game “Celebration Series” following the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Alex Morgan added the third U.S. goal during second-half stoppage time.
“We have a long way to go to put this together but the energy and the attack was excellent tonight and it was contagious among all the players out there,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “This is a great stadium and a great crowd and we were inspired just being here. You can’t beat it. It’s like a 12th player.”
Like against Canada on Sept. 17 in Kansas City, the Americans came out in a 4-5-1 formation, but unlike five days ago, the USA seized control of the match with some tremendous ball possession and put some intense pressure on Canada’s goal. Only some quality goalkeeping from Karina LeBlanc, the crossbar and some less-than-sharp finishing kept the USA off the scoreboard during the first half.
The first dangerous scoring opportunity from the U.S. came in the 16th minute as Wambach won a tackle near midfield with Megan Rapinoe collecting the ball and rushing toward goal. Rapinoe played the ball back to Wambach on the right flank and her cross found Amy Rodriguez in the box. But Rodriguez, who started at left midfield, had her shot palmed away by LeBlanc. Wambach sent her header on the ensuing corner kick over the crossbar.
Christie Rampone, who started at center back, switched to right back for periods of the first half and pressed forward into the attack in the 26 th minute. With Lori Lindsey’s pacey ball down the left flank setting up Heather O’Reilly’s cross to the far post, Rampone’s initial shot was blocked but came back to her only to have her second shot also blocked.
In the 33rd minute, Rapinoe, the former University of Portland star, injected herself into the attack as she received a pass from Wambach into the right side of the penalty area. She chipped the onrushing LeBlanc but her shot caromed off the crossbar and back into the middle of the penalty area. Wambach slid in an attempt to get another crack at it but the Canada defense cleared the ball away.
Six minutes later Rapinoe found herself with space from 28 yards out and uncorked a left-footed blast off the upper right corner of the crossbar.
Playing pressure defense with a backline consisting of left back and former Portland Pilot star Stephanie Cox (who went 90 minutes), centerbacks Rampone and Rachel Buehler and right back Beckey Sauerbrunn, the U.S. limited Canada to three first half shots, none of them threatening, and just six for the game.
Canada created their best chance of the match three minutes after halftime as forward Christina Julien one-timed Kelly Parker’s cross from the right flank off the right post.
Canada’s close chance awakened the U.S. as the Americans started generating quality chances again and did not stop until the final whistle, dominating Canada with quick and clever passing and timely dribbles. In the 53rd minute, Tobin Heath, a halftime substitute, received the ball from Rapinoe, shifted it from her left foot to her right and unleashed a shot that Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé, another halftime substitute, had to dive to save. Heath delighted the crowd during the final 37 minutes on the left flank with flashy dribbles and creative passes.
The U.S. kept pounding away at the Canadians and in the 59th minute halftime substitute Heather Mitts served the ball to the top of the six-yard box. Wambach rose to meet it but pushed her header wide of the far post.
The offensive pressure finally paid off in the 63rd minute as Wambach ran onto a loose ball at the top of the penalty area that had been pried free by some defensive work by Kelley O’Hara. Wambach took a look at the net and rifled a left-footed shot across Labbé and into the upper left corner, bringing down the house that had been cheering the Americans on for an hour in hopes of a goal.
Seven minutes later Wambach increased the U.S. advantage on a beautiful attacking sequence keyed by a pair of 60th minute substitutes. At the top of the box Lauren Cheney slid a pass to O’Hara on the right who crossed the ball to the back post. Bearing down on the goal, Wambach hammered her header from close range into the back of the net for her 125th score in a U.S. uniform, good for third place on the National Team’s all-time list and just five behind Kristine Lilly.
The assist was the first point for O’Hara with the national team and it came in her seventh career cap.
“In the locker room at half I told them that it’s not the end of the world that we didn’t get a goal,” said Sundhage. “The main thing is to have courage to have the patience and this will result in goals, but I am very happy about the performance and I think it is the beginning of something unique.”
The U.S. looked to add to its lead in the 83rd minute as Cheney slipped the ball to Morgan on the left side of the box. The 77th minute substitute ripped a near-post shot with her left foot that Labbé had to block out of bounds.
During stoppage time, the U.S. added one more for the crowd as Heath served the ball from the left flank into the center of the penalty area where Cheney leaped to get her head on it. The ball glanced off a defender’s foot and fell to Morgan who pushed it into the left side of the goal for the 10 th goal of her national team career.
Solo, a Northwest native hailing from Richland, Wash., was honored for earning her 100th cap in a pre-game ceremony. The goalkeeper became the 27th national team player to hit the century mark when she started the USA’s 3-1 victory over France in the semifinals of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The U.S. team will now go on a much-deserved six week break before getting back together in November for a training camp to being preparations for the 2012 Olympic Qualifying Tournament being held in Vancouver, Canada from January 19-29.
- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Canada
Date: Sept. 22, 2011
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: JELD-WEN Field; Portland, Ore.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. PT
Weather: 68 degrees – clear and warm
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 3 3
CAN 0 0 0
Abby Wambach (unassisted) 63rd minute
Abby Wambach (Kelley O’Hara) 70
Alex Morgan (Lauren Cheney) 92
USA: 1-Hope Solo (capt.) (21-Jill Loyden, 52); 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (2-Heather Mitts, 46), 19-Rachel Buehler, 3-Christie Rampone, 14-Stephanie Cox; 9-Heather O’Reilly (17-Tobin Heath, 46), 7-Shannon Boxx (13-Alex Morgan, 77), 16-Lori Lindsey (12-Lauren Cheney, 60), 15-Megan Rapinoe, 8-Amy Rodriguez (5-Kelley O’Hara, 60); 20-Abby Wambach
Subs not used: 6-Amy LePeilbet, 10-Carli Lloyd, 11-Ali Krieger, 18-Nicole Barnhart
Head coach: Pia Sundhage
CAN : 1-Karina LeBlanc (21-Stephanie Labbé, 46); 7-Rhian Wilkinson (5-Robyn Gayle, 72), 4-Carmelina Moscato, 16-Lauren Sesselmann (3-Melanie Booth, 75), 17-Lexi Marton; 6-Kaylyn Kyle (11-Desiree Scott, 55), 8-Diana Matheson (capt.) (9-Tina Romagnuolo, 81), 13-Sophie Schmidt; 10-Christina Julien, 14-Melissa Tancredi (20-Diamond Simpson, 89), 15-Kelly Parker
Subs not used: 2-Emily Zurrer, 12-Jaclyn Sawicki, 18-Erin McLeod, 19-Chelsea Stewart, 22-Justine Bernier
Head coach: John Herdman
Statistical Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 21 / 6
Shots on Goal: 10 / 2
Saves: 2 / 7
Corner Kicks: 7 / 0
Fouls: 9 / 5
Offside: 2 / 5
Abby Wambach (caution) 87th minute
Referee: Christina Ibanez (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Veronica Perez (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Jeremy Hanson (USA)
Fourth Official: Josh Wilkens (USA)
Bud Light Woman of the Match: Abby Wambach