March 7, 2011
FLYING PAST FINNS
Morgan leads 4-0 U.S. win
QUARTEIRA, Portugal – Alex Morgan scored two goals and Shannon Boxx and Carli Lloyd added one each as the U.S. Women’s National Team rolled past Finland 4-0 on Monday.
|Alex Morgan scored two goals to lead the U.S. Women’s National Team to a 4-0 Algarve Cup win over Finland
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The USA scored twice in the first 13 minutes to effectively put the match away, with the first goal coming in the eighth minute on a fantastic header from Shannon Boxx. Lauren Cheney earned the corner kick and Carli Lloyd drove a cross from the right side to Boxx, who jumped over a defender to powerfully head home from just outside the six yard box. It was Boxx's first goal since March 28 of last year against Mexico and the 22nd of her career.
Five minutes later the USA doubled its lead as Lloyd won the ball in midfield and played Cheney, who raced toward goal before laying a pass to Tobin Heath on the left side. The U.S. midfielder bobbed and weaved into the left side of the penalty box, faking out a defender so badly that she fell to the ground. That allowed her to play a square pass to her right into the path of Lloyd, who drilled her sliding shot on a line into the left corner from 16 yards out.
Morgan was active inside the Finland penalty area and had several looks at goal before tallying her first of the game just before halftime. Seconds before the halftime whistle, right back Ali Krieger drove a beautiful ball over the Finland back line to the sprinting Morgan, who took the ball down off her chest. As Finnish goalkeeper Minna Meriluoto came out to challenge, Morgan lifted the ball into the left corner with her left foot to make it 3-0 at the break. The assist was Krieger’s first point in a U.S. uniform.
Morgan got her second of the game in the 54th minute when she ran down a ball on the left end line that had been deflected up in the air by a Finnish defender. Morgan tried to cross the ball, but it was blocked and rolled back to her. She then took a crack at goal with her right foot, but it was pushed away by Meriluoto. Morgan then won the ball right back from a defender, made space with her left foot, and powered a shot through traffic and into the lower right corner.
The goals were Morgan’s fifth and sixth of her career and first since she scored the winning goal in stoppage time against Italy in the first leg of the Women’s World Cup playoff match in Padova, Italy.
In Group B, Iceland defeated Denmark 1-0 for its third win of the tournament to earn a spot in its first Algarve Cup title match. The USA will be playing for the tournament championship for the ninth consecutive year. The championship game will be held on March 9 at the Estádio Algarve, built for the 2004 European Championships, with a kickoff of 12 p.m. ET. Fans can follow the action as it happens on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.
USA – Shannon Boxx (Carli Lloyd) 8th minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (Tobin Heath) 13
USA – Alex Morgan (Ali Krieger) 45
USA – Alex Morgan 54
USA: Nicole Barnhart; Ali Krieger (Whitney Engen, 59), Christie Rampone (capt.) (Becky Sauerbrunn, 46), Rachel Buehler, Stephanie Cox; Heather O’Reilly (Kelley O’Hara, 46), Shannon Boxx (Lori Lindsey, 46), Carli Lloyd, Tobin Heath; Alex Morgan (Lindsay Tarpley, 70), Lauren Cheney (Abby Wambach, 46)
FIN: Minna Meriluoto; Petra Vaelma, Tuija Hyyrynen, Elina Syrojala, Susanna Lehtinen (Maija Saari, 46); Annika Kukkonen, Pernilla Nordlund, Essi Sainio (Leena Puranen, 70); Laura Kalmari (Marianna Tolvanen, 63), Linda Sallstrom, Annica Sjolund (capt.)