NEW ORLEANS (Dec. 16, 2015) – U.S. Soccer legend and all-time leading goalscorer Abby Wambach played her final game for the World Cup champion U.S. Women’s National Team in the final game of its Victory Tour, which finished in a 1-0 defeat to China in front of a record crowd of 32,950 in New Orleans.
After 255 appearances, 18,363 minutes played (including 72 in tonight’s match), with her record 184 goals along with 73 assists, Wambach walked off the pitch to a standing ovation for the last time while wearing the Red, White and Blue.
From the game’s beginning, the U.S. controlled possession and it was clear that the team would try everything to get Wambach a goal on her final night. While the legend had a few chances, the goal that the team and the crowd longed for evaded Wambach and the USA.
The U.S. was the dominant side in terms of possession and chances, but it was China that capitalized on its opportunity, burying a goal against the run of play in the 58th minute, which proved to be the game-winner. The U.S. pushed hard to equalize late, producing a number of near-misses including a Lindsey Horan goal that was called back for the slimmest of offside margins and an Emily Sonnet header that sailed just over the crossbar in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
CHN– Wang Shuang (Wang Shanshan), 58th minute: China broke the run of play with a few carefully crafted passes and sent the ball out wide to Wang Shanshan, who pushed with pace toward the end line on the right. Near the corner, Shanshan sent a long cross to Wang Shuang, who hit a volley that deflected off Meghan Klingenberg and into the right corner. USA 0, CHN 1
- Hope Solo earned her 185th cap in goal, padding her all-time GK appearance record for the U.S.
- With her start tonight, Meghan Klingenberg became the 51st U.S. female player to earn 50 caps.
- The crowd of 32,950 was the largest ever to view a WNT match in New Orleans.
- The defeat ended a 104-match unbeaten streak for the WNT. The loss was the first at home for the team since Nov. 6, 2004, in Philadelphia vs. Denmark.
- China has been one of the most frequent opponents in U.S. history. The U.S. has played China 56 times, more than any other nation. Since 1991 - a span of 24 years - the U.S. and China have failed to play a match in a calendar year only five times.
- The USA is now 34-9-13 all-time vs. China. They have outscored the Steel Roses 96-36.
- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. China PR
Date: Dec. 16, 2015
Competition: International Friendly; Victory Tour
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Superdome; New Orleans, Louisiana
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
CHN 0 1 1
CHN – Wang Shuang (Wang Shanshan) 59th minute
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 5-Kelley O’Hara (26-Jaelene Hinkle, 46), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Julie Johnston (27-Emily Sonnett, 46), 22-Meghan Klingenberg (28-Stephanie McCaffrey, 78); 9-Heather O’Reilly (25-Crystal Dunn, 60), 14-Morgan Brian, 10-Carli Lloyd, 17-Tobin Heath; 20-Abby Wambach (capt.) (23-Christen Press, 72), 13-Alex Morgan (31-Lindsey Horan, 44)
Subs Not Used: 2-Sydney Leroux, 3-Christie Rampone, 6-Whitney Engen, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 11-Ali Krieger, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 21-Alyssa Naeher, 29-Samantha Mewis, 30-Rose Lavelle, 32-Danielle Colaprico
Head coach: Jill Ellis
CHN: 22-Zhao Lina; 2-Liu Shanshan, 5-Wu Haiyan, 6-Li Dongna, 9-Wang Shanshan, 10-Li Ying (20-Zhang Rui, 85), 11-Wang Shuang, 19-Tan Ruyin, 23-Ren Guixin (35-Yang Man, 6), 24-Xue Jiao, 31-Ma Xiaoxu (17-Gu Yasha, 90+2)
Subs Not Used: 7-Xu Yanlu, 12-Bi Xiaolin, 14-Zhao Rong, 15-Lei Jiahui, 16-Lou Jiahui, 18-Han Peng, 21-Wang Lisi, 28-Jiang Meizi, 32-Miao Siwen
Head coach: Bruno Bini
Stats Summary: USA / CHN
Shots: 14 / 3
Shots on Goal: 8 / 2
Saves: 1 / 7
Corner Kicks: 8 / 1
Fouls: 5 / 12
Offside: 5 / 2
CHN – Li Ying (caution) 76th minute
CHN – Wang Shuang (caution) 89
Referee: Michelle Pye (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Marie-Josée Charbonneau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Suzanne Morisset (CAN)
4th Official: Carol Anne Chenard (CAN)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Abby Wambach