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February 24, 2010
Solo stops two pks in WNT win over Iceland

Hope Solo earned a spot in the U.S. Soccer record book by stopping two penalty kicks against Iceland.
Hope Solo earned a spot in the U.S. Soccer record book by stopping two penalty kicks against Iceland.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
VILA REAL de SAN ANTONIO, Portugal—The U.S. women got two goals in under two minutes, and Hope Solo became the first goalkeeper in U.S. Soccer history to stop two penalty kicks in a single match as the Women’s National Team opened the 2010 Algarve Cup with a 2-0 win over Iceland Wednesday.

After an hour of scoreless play, the U.S. edged ahead on an own goal by Iceland defender Sif Atladottir, who headed Megan Schnur’s deep left-side cross into her own net. Less than a minute later, Lauren Cheney – who failed to capitalize on two golden scoring opportunities within the first five minutes of the game – slammed home a spinning 14-yarder to complete the scoring. Lori Lindsay got the assist, with a clever pass behind the Iceland defense.

The lead looked secure well into stoppage time, although a 93rd-minute scrum in the U.S. goalmouth threatened Solo’s shutout with Iceland’s second penalty kick of the match. Solo came off her line, racing an Iceland forward to Rachel Buehler’s lazy backpass. The three players tangled, and by the time things sorted themselves out, Solo had taken a stomp to the arm, Buehler had a yellow card for a jersey tug and Berglind Bjorg Thorvaldsdottir was stepping up to the penalty spot. Solo came up with a spectacular diving save, and the U.S. defense cleared the ball out of danger to preserve their 18th clean sheet in the last 20 games.

Solo also stopped a 12th-minute spot kick by Iceland’s Margret Vidarsdottir, who had been taken down by Cat Whitehill inside the penalty area.

Cheney got the game off to an energetic start, cracking a shot off the right post in the second minute and shooting wide left on a one-on-one showdown with ‘keeper Gudbjorg Gunnarsdottir in the fourth. Cheney hit the post again in the 48th minute, after Gunnarsdottir scrambled to cut off her shooting angle.

The U.S. will face Norway in their second Group B contest of the tournament, Friday in Olhao.

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