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February 13, 2014
U.S. WNT rolls over Russia again

Megan Rapinoe had a goal and two assists in the U.S. WNT’s 8-0 win over Russia.
Megan Rapinoe had a goal and two assists in the U.S. WNT’s 8-0 win over Russia.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
ATLANTA - Amy Rodriguez, Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Lauren Holiday, Heather O'Reilly and Christen Press each tallied second-half goals, and the USA forced a pair of firs half own goals to rout Russia 8-0 at the Georgia Dome Thursday night,

The game, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but was postponed due to snow across the south, drew an announced crowd of 16,133.

The USA got on the board early on an own goal by the Russians. Rapinoe took a corner kick from the left side and Russia goalkeeper Maria Zhamanakova was able to deflect it. The ball stayed in the box where defender Whitney Engen ripped a shot off of the left post that ricocheted off Russia's Elena Terekhova's leg and over the goal line.

Russia's defense again broke down to open the second half when Rapinoe whipped in a cross from the left side and Russia captain Ksenia Tsybutovich failed to intercept. Instead, with Wambach in the vicinity, Russia defender Valentina Orlova inadvertently knocked the ball with her left leg into the net for a 2-0 USA lead in the 50th minute.

It was the first time in 30 years of U.S. WNT history that the team had benefited from two own goals in a match.

The U.S. WNT then broke open the floodgates with back-to-back goals in a two-minute span. In the 52nd minute, Rodriguez's powerful left-footed volley off a perfect O'Reilly service from the right wing pushed the U.S. lead to 3-0.

In the 54th minute, Wambach was surprisingly unmarked by Russia's defense as she executed a tap in of Rapinoe's cross from the left to put the USA up 4-0. With the goal, Wambach extended her world record total to 165.

In the 65th minute, Rodriguez dropped the pass back just outside the box to 20-year-old Morgan Brian who drilled a shot from 23 yards out. The ball deflected off Rapinoe's head and into the left side of the net for a 5-0 cushion. Zhamanakova had no chance to react to the deflection .

The USA scored three more goals in the final 10 minutes. Holiday, who was a 68th-minute substitute for Morgan Brian, capitalized on a penalty kick attempt in the 81st minute after she was taken down in the box. O'Reilly converted in the 83rd minute as she darted past several defenders to knock home a pass from Press just inside the right corner of the six-yard box.

Press capped things off three minutes later as she cut to her right inside the penalty area and rifled her shot into the upper left corner for her 11th goal in only 15 appearances. Rapinoe notched her second assist of the match on Press' score.

It was the second straight rout of the Russians, after a 7-0 win in Boca Raton last Saturday. With the win, The USA extended its home unbeaten streak to 80 games (70-0-10) and its current overall unbeaten streak to 42 games (36-0-6) dating back to March of 2012. The eight goals are the most for the team since the USA crushed Costa Rica 8-0 to open its post-Olympic Fan Tribute Tour on Sept. 1, 2012.

Next up for the U.S. WNT is the 21st edition of the Algarve Cup in Portugal. The USA was placed in Group B and opens the event on March 5 against Japan. The U.S. also faces Sweden (March 7) and Denmark (March 10) before the placement matches on March 12. Kickoff times and venue location will be announced soon.

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