March 12, 2014
USWNT FINISHES ALGARVE WITH WIN
Wambach's 2 goals lead 3-0 victory for 7th place
PARCHAL, Portugal – The U.S. Women’s National Team won its final game of the 2014 Algarve Cup, taking seventh place in the tournament with a 3-0 victory against Korea DPR on two goals from Abby Wambach and a late clincher from Heather O’Reilly.
|Abby Wambach's brace helped the US Women break out of their Algarve Cup slump with a 3-0 win over North Korea on Wednesday.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The USA displayed a much more consistent attacking rhythm throughout the game than it had in its three previous matches, and while it didn’t produce a ton of quality chances, the three goals all came from tremendous build-ups and featured quality finishes.
The first goal, which came in the 11th minute, came from a series of quick passes, moving the ball from the left to the right wing, where Ali Krieger had space to cross from almost flush on the sideline. Her booming service flew over the last North Korea defender to the crashing Wambach at the far post, and she finished powerfully with a diving header.
North Korea threatened with some excellent ball movement through the midfield, but the USA’s team defense, led by center backs Becky Sauerbrunn and Rachel Van Hollebeke and center midfielder Carli Lloyd, was stellar in its ball-winning. The USA limited Korea DPR to just two shots in the game, neither of which was on goal.
Wambach doubled the leaded in the 58th minute, but Lloyd was the catalyst, making a tremendous dribbling run into the left side of the box. She was able to get all the way to the end line and cut a short pass back through a defender’s legs to Wambach, who had her back to the goal. With one sweeping motion, Wambach rolled the ball with the sole of her left foot into the net from close range.
The goals were the 166th and 167th of Wambach’s career as she continues to add to her world record. The brace also upped her total at the Algarve Cup to 21, the most for any U.S. player.
O’Reilly, who had come on at halftime for Tobin Heath, was the recipient of another Lloyd assist. This one was made possible by Krieger, who slid a pass to Lloyd in the right side of the penalty area. Lloyd then sent a hard cross on the ground through the goal mouth and a Wambach run to the near post drew several North Korea defenders and the goalkeeper, leaving O’Reilly wide open at the far post to finish from the door step.
The match marked O’Reilly’s 200th cap, making her the ninth female player in U.S. history to achieve that milestone. In those 200 games, she has been a direct part of 90 goals, scoring 40 and assisting on 50. She picked up her 50th assist in the USA’s previous match against Denmark on March 10. With 40 goals and 50 assists she is the seventh player in U.S. WNT history to join the 40/50 club, along with Wambach (167/65), Mia Hamm (158/144), Kristine Lilly (130/105), Tiffeny Milbrett (100/61), Shannon MacMillan (60/50) and Julie Foudy (45/55).
The USA will be back in action next for two games against China PR on April 6 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. and April 10 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.