March 9, 2011
U.S. women come from behind to capture Algarve Cup
FARO, Portugal – Sky Blue FC midfielder Heather O'Reilly scored the game-winner as the U.S. Women overcame a one-goal deficit to register a 4-2 victory over Iceland and win their eighth Algarve Cup championship on Wednesday.
|Boston Breakers forward Lauren Cheney helped the U.S. women to the Algarve Cup crown in a 4-2 win over Iceland.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Carli Loyd, Lauren Cheney and Alex Morgan also tallied for the Americans.
Lloyd opened the scoring in the tenth minute, but a bizarre three-minute span saw Iceland grab a 2-1 lead on goals from Katrin Omarsdottir and Hallbera Gisladottir.
Megan Rapinoe and Cheney combined right before halftime and Cheney scored the equalizer in stoppage time of the opening half.
Lloyd gave the U.S. the lead on a strike from 20 yards out. Amy Rodriguez collected a pass with her back to the goal and turned toward net, touching the ball forward for Lloyd. Lloyd put the ball between two closing defenders then took another hard touch to her left to lose another defender and ripped a left footed shot across the face of the goal and into the upper corner of the net.
Iceland shocked the U.S. with goals in the 26th and 28th minutes to take the lead on the Americans for the first time in history. The first came on a perfect cross from Gisladóttir on the ground to Margret Vidarsdóttir, who touched the ball back to Omarsdóttir. She pounded a shot at U.S. goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart who knocked down the first attempt, but the rebound went right back to Omarsdóttir who put her second chance into the middle of the goal from 10 yards away.
Just about two minutes later Dóra Larusdóttir lofted in a pass from the right side that was headed on by to Omarsdóttir to Gisladóttir on top of the left side of the penalty box. She managed to avoid Christie Rampone while cutting inside, then squared up on Barnhart and bent a perfect shot into the right corner from 16 yards out. The two goals were Iceland’s only shots on goal of the game.
O’Reilly, who was a menace all day down the right flank for the Iceland defense, found the back of the net in the 57th minute. Rapinoe crossed the ball back into the box to Shannon Boxx, whose shot was knocked down by goalkeeper Gudbjorg Gunnarsdottir. O’Reilly hammered home the rebound and celebrated at the corner flag.
Second-half sub Alex Morgan put the game away in the 87th minute when Abby Wambach headed a ball up that Morgan won from three defenders. Morgan slid to reach the ball, knocking it past Gunnarsdottir.
The goal was the seventh of Morgan’s international career in 15 appearances. While several players had three goals in the tournament, including Lloyd, Morgan was awarded the top scorer award based on the playing the fewest amount of minutes during the tournament of the players that tallied three times.
USA – Carli Lloyd (Amy Rodriguez) 10th minute
ISL – Katrín Omarsdóttir 26
ISL -- Hallbera Gisladóttir (Katrín Omarsdóttir) 28
USA – Lauren Cheney (Megan Rapinoe) 45+1
USA – Heather O’Reilly (Shannon Boxx) 55
USA – Alex Morgan (Abby Wambach) 87
USA: Nicole Barnhart; Ali Krieger (Stephanie Cox, 67), Christie Rampone (capt.), Rachel Buehler, Becky Sauerbrunn; Heather O’Reilly, Shannon Boxx, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe (Lindsay Tarpley, 85); Lauren Cheney (Abby Wambach, 46), Amy Rodriguez (Alex Morgan, 74)
ISL: Gudbjorg Gunnarsdóttir; Sif Altadóttir, Ólina Vidarsdóttir (Thelma Einarsdóttir, 37), Hallbera Gisladóttir (Greta Samuelsdóttir, 63), Katrín Johnsdóttir; Edda Gardarsdóttir, Katrín Omarsdóttir (Fanndís Fridriksdóttir, 61), Sara Gunnarsdóttir (Malfridur Sigurdardóttir, 91+), Dóra Larusdóttir (Rakel Honnundóttir, 69); Thórunn Jonsdóttir (Dagny Brynjarsdóttir, 85, Margret Vidarsdóttir