February 13, 2015
ONE GOAL'S ENOUGH
U.S. women dominate England in 1-0 win
MILTON KEYNES, England - Striker Alex Morgan scored in the 25th minute and a dominating United States side ensured that score held for a 1-0 victory over England in a women's international match on Friday.
The USA, which entered the match with a 1-2-2 mark in its last five games, rebounded from a disappointing 2-0 defeat in France on Sunday as Morgan tallied her 50th goal in her 79th international appearance before a crowd of 14,369 at Milton Keynes Stadium.
Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, in her second consecutive start for the USA, rarely handled the ball as she was credited with a shutout.
The Americans played without several key players, including goalkeeper Hope Solo (one-month suspension), veteran central defender Christie Rampone and midfielder Megan Rapinoe (both reported injured) and Sydney Leroux (ankle injury).
While England will play in the Women's World Cup in Canada in June, it is not in the same class as France and the Americans took advantage of that by dominating possession and chances 12-3 edge in shots).
Morgan gave the visitors all the scoring they needed midway through the opening half when she headed in a Lauren Holiday feed from eight yards past goalkeeper Karen Bardsley.
The USA tried solving Bardsley several times as the keeper was up to the task, snaring Ali Krieger's 18-yard shot at the right near post in the 40th minute.
England was denied an equalizer in the 56th minute when Jodie Taylor was ruled to be offside after putting in a rebound past Harris. The rebound was off a shot by Fran Kirby which Harris had saved. Replays indicated that Kirby was onside on the play.
American striker Abby Wambach, the all-time leading international goal-scorer for men or women (177 goals), started, but did not find the back of the net.
Despite the disparity in play and possession, England had one last chance to equalize three minutes into stoppage time as midfielder Fara Williams launched a long-distance effort that Harris had no problem catching.
The Americans will return home for some rest before embarking for a second trip to Europe for the Algarve Cup in Portugal next month. They will play Norway March 4, Switzerland March 6 and Iceland March 9 with a placement match on March 11.