May 30, 2015
By Charles Cuttone
WNT close out WWC tuneup tour with 0-0 draw against South Korea
HARRISON, NJ---If the United States Women’s National Team was looking to inspire confidence going into next month’s World Cup, they didn't do it very well on Saturday as they played to a 0-0 tie with South Korea in front of a sell-out crowd of 26, 467 at Red Bull Arena.
|Morgan Brian heads a ball toward the goal in the second half of Saturday's 0-0 draw between the US Women's National team and South Korea.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
After winning their last three games on U.S. soil by a combined 12-1, the U.S. could not connect on either of their five shots on goal against the Koreans.
The game was the last before the Americans head to Canada for the 2015 Women’s World Cup, which they open on June 8 against Australia in Winnipeg.
The U.S. had a few chances in the first half, but only a couple that really threatened to find their way into the South Korea net. In the 18th minute, a corner kick by Lauren Holiday found the head of Abby Wambach, but that ball was punched away by South Korean keeper Kim Jungmi. Both Megan Klingenberg and Sydney Leroux had chances on the loose ball, but both were blocked.
In the 36th minute, Klingenberg sent in a ball from the edge of 18 on the left side. Wambach nearly got a head on it at the far post, but the ball went just wide as the U.S. striker instead fond herself in the back of the net.
Other than that, the U.S. shots were well off the mark in the first half.
Leroux nearly broke the scoreless deadlock twice in the second half. Just two minutes in, she had a 20-yard shot blocked, and in the 62nd minute, a strong bending ball was fielded in the air by goalkeeper Kim.
Two of coach Jill Ellis’ substitutions in the 60th minute nearly paid immediate dividends. In the 72nd minute, Tobin Heath sprung Leroux down the left side with a nice leading ball. Leroux caught up with it as Amy Rodriguez was breaking down the middle. A-Rod looked to have an open right side of the goal, but Korean defender Jeon Gaeul cut in front and swept the ball away.
Heath had entered the game for Holiday, and Rodriguez replaced Wambach, while Christie Rampone came in for Julie Johnston at the same time.
Six minutes later, Lori Chalupny replaced Ali Krieger, and later in the half Heather O’Reilly came on for Leroux. The last U.S. sub was in the 83rd minute, with Kelley O’Hara coming on for Klingenberg.
South Korea, currently ranked 18th in the World, and one of the teams that will be heading north to Canada for next month’s Women’s World Cup, played most of the game with 10 players behind the ball, severely clogging the midfield, and allowing few clean breaks for the U.S., though the second half substitutes did an a spark to the game attack as they brought waves of half chances into the final third.
Though not having to make any saves, Korean goalkeeper Kim managed to thwart a number of chances, controlling the penalty area on cross and corners. In the 84th minute, she did well to push Heath's corner kick out of danger.
In the first minute of stoppage time, O’Reilly almost got under a ball coming into the area, but she collided with the South Korean ‘keeper, and her header went over the net.