October 20, 2014
By Charles Cuttone
US Women romp past Haiti to win Group A
WASHINGTON, DC---Abby Wambach scored two goals as the United States Women’s National Team cruised past Haiti 6-0 to advance to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship Monday night in front of a small crowd of 6,421 at R.F.K. Stadium.
|Abby Wambach scored twice s the US Women beat Haiti 6-0 Monday at RFK Stadium.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The U.S. will face the Group B runner up on Friday at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.. Group B plays Tuesday at RFK. The two finalists and the winner of the third place match will automatically qualify for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. The fourth place team will face a playoff against South American third place finisher Ecuador for another spot. As the host, Canada is automatically qualified, meaning CONCACAF could have five teams in the 24-country tournament.
After getting off to a slow start in the tournament, a 1-0 win against Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S. has come on strong in its last two games, scoring five against Guatemala on Friday in Chicago and the half dozen Monday.
Monday night, they got off to a quick start, and never took their foot off the gas, despite stretches when they had a hard time dealing with Haiti’s offside trap.
After having a second minute goal called back because three U.S. players were offside, Carli Lloyd gave the U.S. the lead in the ninth minute. A ball from the right side was punched out by Haiti goalkeeper Geralda Saintillus before Wambach could get a head on it. The ball fell to Lloyd on the right side and she slammed it into the net.
Wambach made it a two goal lead in the 39th minute. Christen Press lobbed a ball in from the right side. Haiti defender Roselord Borgella slipped in front of Wambach and got a head on the ball, but it deflected right to the US’s all time leading scorer who sent a header into the roof of the net.
The United States applied considerable pressure, that Haiti’s defense withstood for a while, breaking up chances and limiting the U.S. opportunities, but the defense eventually began to crack.
The United States got its next three goals as the result of bad clearances by the Haiti defense.
In the 57th minute, Heather O’Reilly made a run down to the end line and cut in toward goal. She sent a ball into the area that was poked by a defender and landed some 25 yards out. Meghan Klingenberg ripped a rocket straight through a group of players in the penalty area for her first international goal.
Four minutes later, another cross was poorly cleared and Lloyd chested it down outside the area. She played it forward to Wambach who had an easy tap in for the finish. Press got the fifth goal in the 66th minute in pretty much the same way.
The University of Virginia’s Morgan Brian, who made her national team debut, and scored her first goal for the U.S. at R.F.K. Stadium in a friendly last year, got one that counts, making it 6-0 in the 82nd minute with a strike from the edge of the 18 yard box.
The U.S. also had some chances it missed. In the 14th, Press sent in a cross for Rapinoe in the box, but her header went over the bar. Three minutes later, Tobin Heath got a head on a ball in the box, but Saintilus made a leaping save. Wambach also had a chance at another in the 22nd minute, but sent her header over the bar.
The beleaguered Haitian goalkeeper made several saves to keep the game from completely getting out of hand. In the 69th minute, O’Reilly had a chance to poke in a loose ball in the six yard box, but Saintilus, who was already on the ground, quickly recovered and made the stop. Four minutes later, second half sub Sydney Leroux missed a diving header. While splayed out on the ground, she got her foot on the ball, sending the Haitian ‘keeper scrambling to successfully make the stop.
Her best save, however came two minutes later, when O’Reilly popped up a ball up inside the six, and Saintilus leapt to push it out of danger.
Leroux, who added a spark to the U.S. offense, again came close to scoring in the 80th minute, sending a left footed shot off the right post.