March 4, 2011
U.S. reaches Algarve final for 9th straight time
VILA REAL de SAN ANTONIO, Portugal--- Lindsey Tarpley scored in the first half and Carli Lloyd added a goal in the second to give the United States a 2-0 win over Norway and earn a spot in the Algarve Cup championship game for the ninth consecutive year.
|Lindsey Tarpley scored in the first half as the U.S. beat long time rival Norway 2-0 in the Algarve Cup.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The USA will face Finland on Monday, March 7, in its group finale, but the USA’s win against Norway combined with Japan’s 5-0 thrashing of Finland seals first place in Group A for the Americans with one match day left to play.
The first U.S. goal came off a long pass over the Norwegian defense from Rachel Buehler, who was only about 25 yards above her penalty box when she let the ball fly. Amy Rodriguez out-ran two defenders and with her first touch cut into the penalty area from the left. It looked as if Rodriguez had touched it too far, but she scrapped for the ball and managed to pull it away from the reaching hands of Norwegian goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth with a back-heel flick to Tarpley, who crushed a first-time, left-footed shot into the open net from nine yards out.
It was the 28th career goal for Tarpley, moving her past Joy Fawcett and into sole possession of 14th place on the USA’s all-time scoring list.
Lloyd doubled the USA’s lead in the 63rd minute and once again the sequence was started by Buehler. She played the ball over to the left side to Megan Rapinoe, who found Lloyd in the middle of the field. Lloyd wound up to shoot with her right foot, losing a defender, then cut to her left and fired a low skimming 23-yard shot that snuck just inside the right post. It was Lloyd’s 25th career international goal and effectively sealed the match.
“I think the speed of play was so much better today for pretty much 90 minutes,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage.” It was a little up and down in the first half and the beginning of the second, but we then regained the ball and played aggressively. This is the American attitude and mentality; playing hard, but also being sophisticated enough to create chances and find the find rhythm and Boxx and Lloyd did well today.”
The U.S completely dominated their long time rivals, holding a 17-5 shots advantage that include numerous good looks for the Americans.
In the 21st minute, Shannon Boxx fired a shot from above the right side of the penalty area that drew a leaping save from Hjelmseth, who pushed it over the top for a corner kick.
Five minutes later Tarpley slipped a pass through to Rodriguez in the left side of the penalty box and the U.S. forward sent a left-footed chip over Hjelmseth and off the top of the cross bar.
Two highlights in the second half came on close chances as defenders Becky Sauerburnn and Christie Rampone almost scored. In the 58th minute, Sauerbrunn’s half-shot/half-cross flew over the Norwegian ‘keeper and clanked off the crossbar. Later in the half, Rampone got a good strike on a volley from the top of the penalty area after a dipping ball fell to her after a corner kick, but it went right at the ‘keeper.
The Americans will have to wait until after the third match day to find out who their opponent will be in the championship game as Group B with Sweden, Iceland, Denmark and China is still tightly contested.
USA – Lindsay Tarpley (Amy Rodriguez) 33rd minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (Megan Rapinoe) 63
USA: Nicole Barnhart; Ali Krieger (Whitney Engen, 78), Christie Rampone (capt.), Rachel Buehler, Stephanie Cox (Becky Sauerbrunn, 46); Heather O’Reilly (Abby Wambach, 46), Shannon Boxx, Carli Lloyd (Lori Lindsey, 71), Megan Rapinoe (Tobin Heath, 71); Lindsay Tarpley, Amy Rodriguez (Alex Morgan, 46)
NOR: Ingrid Hjelmseth (capt.); Maren Mjelde, Nora Berge, Hedda Gardsjord, Guro Knutsen Mienna (Ingrid Ryland, 69), Lisa-Marie Woods, Trine Rønning (Lena Storløkken, 40), Lene Mykjaland (Madeleine Giske, 63), Lise Klaveness (Cecilie Pedersen, 63), Isabel Herlovsen (Elisa Thorsnes, 63), Leni Larsen Kaurin (Lindy Wiik, 81)