December 8, 2012
SECOND HALF LIFT
Lloyd, Leroux give U.S. Women 2-0 win over China
DETROIT - Carli Lloyd and Sydney Leroux each scored second half goals, lifting the United States Women's National team to a 2-0 victory over China in front of 17,371 at Ford Field Saturday.
|Sydney Leroux scored after coming in off the bench to help the U.S. Women to a 2-0 win over China.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The USA moved to 26-1-3 in 2012. The match was the 12th all-time played indoors by the U.S. Women who have a perfect 12-0-0 record under a roof.
Forward Alex Morgan, came into the game at halftime for Amy Rodriguez and had several good scoring chances. However, it was her assist to Leroux in the 84th minute that made history as she notched her 20th of 2012. Along with her 28 goals so far that assist made her just the second player in U.S. history to score at least 20 goals and record 20 assists in a calendar year. Mia Hamm was the first - and before Saturday the only - player to achieve that feat, doing so in 1998 when she had exactly 20 goals and 20 assists.
The match was the 100th career international game for Rodriguez who became the 28th player to achieve that mark. As is tradition on the U.S. team, she captained the side for the match. She was replaced by Tobin Heath in the 48th minute.
Heath made an impact in the second half and was in the center of numerous dangerous attacking sequences. She set up the first goal in the 50th minute after halftime substitute Becky Sauerbrunn had received a pass down the left flank and played Heath running into the middle of the field. Heath initially was tackled and dispossessed, but dug in hard to win the ball back, evaded several defenders with a swerving dribble and slipped a pass into the center of the penalty area to Lloyd.
Lloyd avoided a defender and then slid to drill her left-footed shot into the near post at the lower left corner from 12 yards out.
Leroux came into the match in the 71st minute and scored off a one-on-one chance. Morgan collected a ball near the top of the penalty area and slipped a pass into the left side of the box where Leroux latched on to it and beat her defender before baring down on goal and calmly rolling the ball past China goalkeeper Zhang Yue into the lower right corner.
U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo had some work to do, making several excellent saves while taking the danger out of a few tough crosses. Solo made quality back-to-back saves during a period of China pressure about 12 minutes into the match, first pushing away a hard angled shot from the right side of the penalty area from Zhang Rui and then moments later gobbling up a hard shot from 18 yards that was struck low and hard by China captain Pu Wei.
Solo came up huge in the 42nd minute after a miscue in the back led to forward Ma Xiaoxu getting a one-on-one chance, but the U.S. goalkeeper made a great diving save to her left. Solo earned her 66th career shutout.
Rodriguez had a chance to score just seconds into her 100th cap, but after she latched onto a flicked header from Abby Wambach, she shot straight at the goalkeeper from 12 yards out.
Lauren Cheney hit a bouncing volley off the post in the 4th minute and Morgan came just a few feet from scoring on almost her first touch when she intercepted a back pass in the 48th minute and lifted it over the onrushing goalkeeper, only to see it drop just wide left of the goal. Second-half substitute Heather O'Reilly hit the outside of the right post in the 69th minute with a low driven shot.
The USA moved to 6-0-2 on the Fan Tribute Tour. The USA will be in action next on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston in the second match of the three-game series against China. That match will be broadcast live on FOX Soccer at 8:30 p.m. ET. The USA will also face China on Dec. 15 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla., to end the tour in a match broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network and Univision Deportes at 7 p.m. ET.