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July 17, 2010
Wambach scores twice in 3-0 US win

Abby Wambach scored twice in the U.S.3-0 win over Sweden.
Abby Wambach scored twice in the U.S.3-0 win over Sweden.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
EAST HARTFORD, Conn.---Abby Wambach scored two goals both with her head, and Megan Rapinoe added another as the U.S. Women’s National Tea=m finished their two-game series with Sweden Saturday with a convincing 3-0 victory at Rentschler Field.

“We scored three and didn’t concede any goals so I think overall the performance was really good,” said U.S. Coach Pia Sundhage. “Sweden is a really good team but I think we controlled the game pretty much from the beginning.

The match was only seven minutes in when a storm rolled through the area and the game was delayed for 31 minutes due to lightning.

In the 33rd minute Heather O’Reilly started the USA’s attack by hitting a long switch to Meghan Schnur on left sideline and the defender quickly slipped the ball inside to Shannon Boxx near the corner of the box . Boxx turned on her defender to get loose and ripped a left-footed strike on target. Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl got her hand to the shot but the ball fell right to Rapinoe at the back post and she one-timed the loose ball into the open net.

The U.S. doubled their lead just before the half on a well-placed corner kick from Lori Lindsey to an unmarked Wambach. Darting in from the top of the penalty area, Wambach rose above the Swedish defenders and drove her header home from eight yards out.

The U.S. put the finishing touches on the match in the 72nd minute, when Wambach headed home her second goal of the night. Kristine Lilly dribbled up the left flank deep in Sweden’s territory but pulled the ball back and dropped it to Rachel Buehler. Buehler whipped a cross into the box and Wambach out-jumped two defenders to bury the ball into the back of the net.

The performance was Wambach’s 27th multi-goal game of her career and third of the year. It also gave her 10 goals in 13 games since returning from her broken leg. Wambach passed Tiffeny Milbrett on the all-time points list with 262, = good enough for third all-time behind Mia Hamm (460) and Kristine Lilly (363).

Amy Rodriguez tallied the USA’s lone goal against Sweden in the last match, and it appeared she would do the same in the 15th minute. Lindsey took one touch of a ball from O’Reilly before striking a 60-yard pass to the streaking Rodriguez. The forward took a touch in the box and tried to slip it past Lindahl, but the ‘keeper did well to stay low and make the save.

Sweden created their best chance of the match five minutes after the U.S. took the 1-0 lead,, but failed to equalize. Josefine Oqvist got into the penalty area from the left side and dribbled along the endline where Rachel Buehler and Amy LePeilbet forced her to lose possession. The ball popped loose to Linnea Liljegard and she had a great opportunity to test Hope Solo from six yards out, but her shot went wide of the target.

Sweden, which was without two starters from the last match as defender Sara Larsson and midfielder Caroline Seger were released back to the Philadelphia Independence, had another great chance in the 66th minute. Oqvist got inside the right si= de of the penalty area and crossed the ball to the back post to a wide-open Kosovare Asllani, but the midfielder launched her attempt over the bar.

In the 70th minute, Christie Rampone came in for Schnur to earn her first cap in more than a year since coming back from her second pregnancy. Buehler, who wore the captain’s armband for the first time in her career, moved from central defense to left back.

USA: Hope Solo; Ali Krieger, Amy LePeilbet (Kate Markgraf, 46), Rachel Buehler, Meghan Schnur (Christie Rampone, 70); Heather O’Reilly, Shannon Boxx, Lori Lindsey, Megan Rapinoe (Kristine Lilly, 46); Abby Wambach, Amy Rodriguez (Lauren Cheney 46)

SWE: Hedvig Lindahl; Malin Levenstad, Charlotte Rohlin, Linda Sembrant, Lina Nilsson; Josefine Oqvist (Annica Svensson, 85), Lisa Dahlkvist (Jessica Landström, 62), Therese Sjögran (Sara Thunebro, 56), Nilla Fischer, Louise Fors (Kosovare Asllani, 62); Linnea Liljegärd (Sara Lindén, 70)
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