July 16, 2008
OPENING NORDIC SHUTOUT
U.S. slips past Switzerland 1-0
BORLANGE, Sweden -- U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team won its opening match of the 2008 Nordic Cup, defeating Switzerland, 1-0, as midfielder Brittany Klein tallied the winning goal six minutes into the second half.
While the USA out-shot the Swiss, who were using several overage players, by a 14-6 margin, the Americans produced just one goal but it was enough to hold up for a crucial three points.
The goal came off a throw-in that forward India Trotter took the right end line. She crossed the ball back to midfielder Tina Dimartino at the top right side of the penalty area. Faced with two defenders, DiMartino cleverly found Klein on her left and she bent the ball around the ‘keeper into the lower right corner.
"At times, we settled the ball and created good chances,” said Klein, who scored her first international goal for the U-23s. “We just have to be able to finish those chances we get. There are some things we really need to work on for our next game to move forward in the tournament, but we made big improvements from the first half to the second half."
The USA almost changed the game just three minutes in as Trotter slammed a shot off the post. Switzerland’s Maeva Sarrasin had the best chance of the game for her country as she broke through the U.S. defense and shot around U.S. goalkeeper Val Henderson, but the ball was cleared off the line by a hustling Katherine Reynolds.
"We played good football,” said U.S. head coach Bill Irwin. “In the first half, we were out-hustled and out-muscled, but we changed it up in the second half and we finally scored on one of our many chances. The win is a good start to the tournament, but we have a few things to work on to prepare for England on Thursday."
The American face England next on July 17 in Borlange and then will finish group play with Norway on July 19 in Famas. The USA must win its group to play in the championship game on July 21.
All four opening matches of the Nordic Cup were shutouts. In the other Group B match, Norway defeated England, 2-0. In Group A, Sweden downed Scotland 3-0 and Germany edged Finland, 2-0