WNT Falls to No. 3 France 2-0 in 2015 Opener

U.S. WNT Falls to No. 3 France 2-0 in 2015 Opener
Alex Morgan
Alex Morgan

LORIENT, France (Feb. 8, 2015) – The U.S. Women’s National Team, in a key test to open the 2015 campaign and prepare for the FIFA Women’s World Cup later this year, fell 2-0 to No. 3 FIFA-ranked France in front of a sold-out crowd of 15,663 at Stade du Moustoir. 

Eugenie Le Sommer and Jessica Houara scored back-to-back goals early in the second half as France earned its first victory against the United States in 17 chances all-time. The No. 2-ranked USA is now 14-1-2 against France. 

All-time goal scoring leader Abby Wambach had a golden opportunity to change the momentum with the USA trailing by two goals after drawing a second-half penalty kick in the 66th minute, but France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi came up with a key save. 

One of France’s stars had to come out of the match early as Louisa Necib exited in the 40th minute. Kenza Dali replaced Necib, who injured her left foot during a one-on-one challenge against USA defender Lori Chalupny. 

The USA was without several key players for this match, including defender Christie Rampone (back), midfielder Megan Rapinoe (knee), forward Sydney Leroux (ankle) and goalkeeper Hope Solo (suspended). 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
FRA – Eugenie Le Sommer (Elodie Thomis), 50th minute: France broke the deadlock when Thomis got past Lori Chalupny and crossed from the right side of the box to Le Sommer, who had inside position against Meghan Klingenberg and headed the ball into the left side of the goal. USA 0, FRA 1 (SEE GOAL) 

FRA – Jessica Houara (Amandine Henry), 51st minute: France once again attacked down the right side as Henry slotted the ball to Houara. Houara was clearly looking to cross the ball in, but the ball looped over USA goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, hit the inside of the left post and crossed the goal line to push France’s lead to two goals. USA 0, FRA 2 (SEE GOAL) (FINAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Becky Sauerbrunn, 4th and 7th minutes: USA center back Sauerbrunn played an important role in the game’s opening minutes. In the fourth minute, Sauerbrunn blocked a Gaetane Thiney shot, though France’s Eugenie Le Sommer eventually created a strong right-footed chance that sailed just wide right of the frame. Then in the seventh minute, Sauerbrunn quickly tracked back to intercept a pass intended for Gaetane Thiney in the right side of the box to halt the France attack. 

FRA – Laura Georges, 11th minute: The USA had a promising chance when Christen Press dribbled in to the right side of the box. Press went shoulder-to-shoulder with Georges, and Georges held her off with a left-footed block. 

FRA – Sarah Bouhaddi, 13th minute: Christen Press set up Alex Morgan who made a nice angled run to her left side outside the box. Morgan shot left-footed, searching for the far right post, but Bouhaddi dove to her left for the save. 

USA – Ashlyn Harris, 32nd minute: The stadium crowd bellowed as Louisa Necib took the corner kick from the right side. Carli Lloyd came up with the initial header clearance and France center back Laura Georges followed with a right-footed shot that was headed just underneath the crossbar, and Harris stretched for the save. 

FRA – Laura Georges, 45th minute: USA striker Alex Morgan darted into the box and eluded France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi who left her line. Morgan shot right-footed from eight yards out and Georges tracked back in time to block the shot and surrender a USA corner kick. 

USA – Sarah Bouhaddi, 66th minute: U.S. second-half sub Abby Wambach drew a penalty kick just a couple minutes after entering the match. Wambach shot right-footed toward the left side of the frame, where Bouhaddi dove to her right and saved with her right arm before smothering the ball. 

USA – Sarah Bouhaddi, 80th minute: The USA maintained some stronger possession and offensive sequences down the stretch, including a switch from left to right as Abby Wambach headed the ball toward Christen Press in this particular buildup. Press took a touch to her left outside the box and looked to bend the ball around Bouhaddi toward the far left post. However, Bouhaddi read the shot well and dove to her right for the save. 

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT heads north to England for a 3 p.m. ET match on Friday, Feb. 13.
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 1, Univision Deportes
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram 

Additional Notes:

  • Head coach Jill Ellis’ starting lineup featured a 4-4-2 formation.
  • Ashlyn Harris earned her fifth-career cap in goal. She had two appearances in 2014.
  • The back line featured Lori Chalupny at left back, Meghan Klingenberg on the right side and the center back duo of Becky Sauerbrunn and Whitney Engen.
  • The USA midfield included captain Carli Lloyd on the left, Tobin Heath on the right and Morgan Brian and Lauren Holiday playing centrally.
  • Alex Morgan and Christen Press were paired up front. It marked Morgan’s first start and appearance since she injured her ankle against Guatemala at the 2014 CONCACAF Championship on Oct. 17.
  • In the 55th minute, Ali Krieger entered for Chalupny. Krieger moved to the right side and Klingenberg switched to the left.
  • Abby Wambach earned her 233rd-career cap when she replaced Brian in the 63rd minute.
  • Amy Rodriguez entered the match for Heath in the 77th minute. 

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. France
Date: Feb. 8, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Stade du Moustoir; Lorient, France
Kickoff: 12 p.m. ET
Attendance: 15,663 (so)
Weather: 46 degrees; Clear

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

FRA – Eugénie Le Sommer (Elodie Thomis) 50th minute
FRA – Jessica Houara (Amandine Henry)                51

USA: 24-Ashlyn Harris; 25-Meghan Klingenberg, 6-Whitney Engen, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 16-Lori Chalupny (11-Ali Krieger, 55); 17-Tobin Heath (8-Amy Rodriguez, 77), 15-Morgan Brian (20-Abby Wambach, 63), 12-Lauren Holiday, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 23-Christen Press, 13-Alex Morgan
Subs Not Used: 5-Kelley O’Hara, 7-Shannon Boxx, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 14-Julie Johnston, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 19-Rachel Van Hollebeke, 21-Alyssa Naeher, 22-Crystal Dunn, 26-Tori Huster
Head coach: Jill Ellis

FRA: 1-Sarah Bouhaddi; 8-Jessica Houara, 4-Laura Georges, 2-Wendie Renard, 22-Amel Majri; 12-Elodie Thomis (11-Claire Lavogez, 74), 10-Camille Abily (23-Kheira Hamaroui, 82), 6-Amandine Henry, 14-Louisa Necib (7-Kenza Dali, 40); 17-Gaëtane Thiney (18-Marie Laure Delie, 87), 9-Eugénie Le Sommer (15-Elise Bussaglia, 74)
Subs Not Used: 1-Céline Deville, 3-Laure Boulleau, 5-Sabrina Delannoy, 13-Kadiatou Diani, 19-Gridge Mbock Bathy, 20-Anaig Butel, 21-Meline Gerard
Head coach: Philippe Bergeroo

Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 15 / 11
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 3 / 6
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 5 / 7
Offside: 0 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Tobin Heath (caution)             26th minute

Referee: Pernilla Larsson (Sweden)
Assistant Referee 1: Anna Nystrom (Sweden)
Assistant Referee 2: Sabrina Keinersdorfer (Switzerland)
Fourth Official: Elodie Coppola (France)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Becky Sauerbrunn