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December 15, 2012
US Women close out 2012 with 4-1 win over China

Norb Ecksl
Soccer News Net Contributor

Abby Wambach scored two goals to lead the US Women past China Saturday night.
Abby Wambach scored two goals to lead the US Women past China Saturday night.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BOCA RATON, Fla.---Abby Wambach’s two goals led the US Women’s National Team to a 4-1 win over China PR in front of 10,493 fans at FAU Stadium on Saturday night.

The US went on the attack early. In the eighth minute, Megan Rapinoe’s corner kick went to Shannon Boxx in the penalty area. Boxx mis-hit her 12-yard shot, which went to the side of the net. Three minutes later, Alex Morgan received a throw in and broke in on goal, sending a 14- yard volley just wide of net.

The US finally saw results in the 18th minute, as the Dynamic Duo of Morgan and Wambach combined for the 54th time this year. Kelley O’Hara’s throw-in found Morgan at the left side of the penalty area. Morgan then sent a through ball to a breaking Wambach who headed it down into the far corner of the net for a 1-0 US lead.

It was Wambach’s 26th goal of the season, the second best goal total of her career, and the 151st goal of her career.

It was Morgan’s 21st assist for the year, tying her for second all-time in US history with Carin Jennings Gabarra, who accomplished the feat in 1991.

Wambach’s bid for her second goal of the match came on a hard volley from 10 yards out that was saved at the far post by goalkeeper Wang Fei in the 24th minute.

The US extended their lead in the 36th minute. Wambach chased a loose ball in the China end that drew Fei outside of the penalty area. Rapinoe also gave chase and intercepted the pass from Fei. Rapinoe then sent a volley at the net from 41 yards out that bounced in the penalty box and into the net to make the score 2-0.

China ended the US shutout string at 409 minutes in the last minute of the half, taking advantage of sloppy defensive play. Li Ning sent a pass to Han Peng at the top of the penalty area in the 45th minute. After some quick moves through US defenders, she sent a left-footed shot from 12 yards out that got by Hope Solo and went into the net. It was China’s first shot of the match. The US had nine shots in the first half.

The US opened the second-half scoring in the 64th minute. Rapinoe found Wambach in the penalty box. Wambach then sent the ball into the net with her shoulder for her 27th goal of the year and 152nd of her career. Immediately after scoring, Wambach headed straight to the US bench to hug Morgan. As a duo they now share the goal scoring record of 55 in a year with Michelle Akers and Gabarra, who accomplished the feat in 1991.

The US added their final goal in the 87th minute. Heather Mitts sent a cross into the penalty area where Sydney Leroux steered it into the net. It was her 14th goal of the season.

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