June 17, 2008
A BIT OF REVENGE
US Women top Brazil 1-0
SUWON, South Korea---The United States picked up a small measure of revenge over Brazil on Tuesday, as Amy Rodriguez scored in the 41st minute for a 1-0 win in 2008 Peace Queen Cup.
|Amy Rodriguez scored her fourth international goal to give the United States a 1-0 win over Brazil at the Peace Queen Cup
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
This was the first meeting between the USA and Brazil since the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal, a 4-0 Brazil victory that was played in the midst of the great goalkeeper controversy that saw the coach Greg Ryan replace Hope Solo with veteran Briana Scurry.
The U.S. scoring play started with Abby Wambach battling Brazilian defender Daniele for a ball deep in the left corner. The Brazilian pulled Wambach to the ground, setting up a free kick by Aly Wagner.
Wagner’s service bounced into the area right in front of Rodriguez, who cracked a point-blank shot from almost no angle high towards the near post. Brazilian goalkeeper Barbara stuck a hand up, but could only palm the ball into the upper left corner of the net. For Rodriguez, it was her fourth international goal. The goal came from the USA’s first shot of the game and its only shot of the first half.
“I thought the first half was just a battle, so we changed the style and formation (in the second half),” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “We didn’t play well attacking (in the first half), although the defending was good. I am very proud with the way we turned it around. We changed so many players and that is difficult for a team coming into the second half, but I think we played better.”
The USA will face Italy on June 19 (5 p.m. local / 4 a.m. ET) in the final group match for both teams. A win or a tie for the USA will earn top honors in Group B and a berth to the June 21 championship game, likely against Canada, which currently heads Group A.
Wambach also played a role in repelling Brazil’s only chance, that coming about 20 minutes into the game after a corner kick from the right side was driven low to the near post. The USA cleared poorly and the ball rolled right to Fabiana, who wailed away from just six yards out. The low shot skidded under diving U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, but Wambach hit the ball out with her heel for another corner kick. The ensuing Brazilian service was also dangerous as Solo couldn’t punch the ball, and it flew through the goal mouth without a Brazilian foot close enough to re-direct it.
Both teams lost key players in the early going as Brazilian captain Aline had to leave the match in just the seventh minute with an ankle injury. U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd suffered a broken nose about 10 minutes into the game while jumping for a head ball and had to be replaced by Angela Hucles. The USA also lost captain Christie Rampone who came off at halftime after she injured an ankle just after the USA’s goal.
Sundhage made three changes at halftime, sending on Heather O’Reilly to replace Wagner (who had started her first match in about eight months), Rachel Buehler to replace Rampone and Stephanie Cox to replace Lori Chalupny. The USA moved to a 4-5-1 for most of the second half, dropping Wambach in behind Rodriguez on the forward line.
The USA put together a better attacking performance in the second half, producing five shots and five corner kicks, but only two real scoring chances. The first came in the 57th minute when Wambach had a go from 40 yards out and sent a sizzling drive just outside the upper left corner of the goal.
Brazil came right back seconds later to produce one of its two good scoring opportunities of the second half, sending a long ball to the top of the penalty area. Solo came out and bashed into a few players as the ball squirted right across the penalty box. Cox was able to run it down and put some pressure on the ball, but Rosana was still able to crack a shot on frame. Cox allowed Solo time to recover back into the goal and the U.S. goalkeeper made another save, diving hard to her right to push the ball outside the post.
In the 78th minute, Brazil had a chance from a free kick from about 25 yards and just to the left of the penalty arc, but Solo gobbled up Maycon’s at the upper left corner.
U.S. midfielder Lindsey Tarpley had a golden chance in the 59th minute as she ran onto a curving free kick from the right wing and was wide-open at the penalty spot, but she spun her first-time volley right into the stomach of Barbara.
The United States will face Brazil two more times before the Olympics in Beijing. The two teams will also meet on July 13 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. (4 p.m. ET live on ESPN) and then again on July 16 at Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego (10 p.m. ET live Fox Soccer Channel).
In the other Group B game, Australia defeated Italy, 3-0, as Heather Garriock scored twice within a minute in the middle of the second half and Amy Chapman added a score two minutes from the end of the game.