January 23, 2011
U.S. women stop Canada in Four Nations
CHONGQING, China – The U.S. Women’s National Team moved back into title contention at the Four Nations tournament with a 2-1 victory against Canada on Sunday.
|Lindsay Tarpley set up the first goal and had the game winner as the U.S. bounced back to defeat Canada 2-1 on Sunday.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Lauren Cheney and Lindsay Tarpley scored second half goals for the Americans (1-1), who dropped a 2-1 decision to Sweden in their opening match.
“You have to look at two things from the game, attitude over 90 minutes, which we emphasized after the Sweden game, and I think we brought that to this game, but also smartness,” U.S. coach Pia Sundhage said. “We kept possession with our two center midfielders. Carli Lloyd and Lori Lindsey did a good job at times and eventually we created chances and eventually we put them away as well.”
China defeated Sweden, 2-1, in the first match of the day, meaning all four teams in the tournament have a win and a loss, three points and a goal difference at zero. China and Canada sit in a better position by virtue of scoring four goals each, one more than the U.S. and Sweden.
To win the tournament, the Americans must defeat China and hope Sweden and Canada tie their last match, or that the U.S. comes out on top in the tie-breakers against the winner of that match, which are: 1) goal difference, 2) goals scored and 3) head-to-head result.
Sundhage changed seven players from the starting lineup that lost to Sweden on Friday, switching out both outside backs, a central defender, both flank midfielders, a central midfielder and one forward.
The match marked the first career starts for defender Brittany Taylor, midfielder Kelley O’Hara and forward Alex Morgan, who earned their second, fourth and 10th caps respectively. Defender Becky Sauerburnn earned her fourth cap and made her first start since she debuted at the Four Nations Tournament in 2008. Midfielder Meghan Klingenberg, 22, earned her first career cap when she entered the match in the 78th minute for O’Hara.
The U.S. pressured in the second half and it finally paid off in the 54th minute as O’Hara made a run down the left wing, cut back away from the goal and spun a cross to Tarpley in the center of the penalty area. With her back to the goal, Tarpley flicked the ball first-time into Cheney’s path near the left-side of the goal box as she lifted the ball over goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc and into the net from about seven yards for her 12th international score.
Canada roared right back with Christine Sinclair finding some space deep into the right side of the penalty area. Her cross on the ground was stabbed by goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, who then jumped on the rebound.
Barnhart couldn’t save Canada’s quickly-earned equalizer in the 56th minute as Melissa Tancredi got behind the defense off a pass from Kaylyn Kyle, drove into left side of the penalty area and rolled a 16-yard shot just inside the right post.
Cheney was at the middle of the U.S. counterattack that produced the game-winner, driving the ball toward the Canadian defense before playing a rolling pass to Tarpley into the left side of the box. She hit a shot with her left foot that snuck just inside the right post although LeBlanc seemingly had the angle covered.
It was Tarpley’s 31st career goal, moving her past Brandi Chastain into 11th place on the U,S.’s scoring list. It was also Tarpley’s first goal since May 25, 2009, when she scored against Canada in a 4-0 victory in Toronto. Tarpley tore an ACL at the end of the 2009 Women's Professional Soccer season and was playing in just her second international game since the injury.