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U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

May 18, 2011
GAINING MOMENTUM
WNT World Cup tuneup continues with 2-0 win over Japan


Heather O’Reilly had a goal and an assist in the U.S. Women’s 2-0 win over Japan on Wednesday.
Heather O’Reilly had a goal and an assist in the U.S. Women’s 2-0 win over Japan on Wednesday.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
CARY, NC----Amy Rodriguez and Heather O’Reilly each scored for the United States in a 2-0 win over Japan at SAS Soccer Park on Wednesday.

It was the second straight game scoring a goal for Rodriguez, who had one in Saturday’s 2-0 win over the same Japanese team in Columbus.

A-Rod gave the United States a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute. O’Reilly drove down the right side toward the endline and then drove the ball into the center of the penalty area, where Rodriguez was waiting for the tap in.

O’Reilly scored one of her own in the 69th minute. Carli Lloyd played a ball out wide to O’Reilly on the right. O’Reilly dribbled toward the penalty area, cut around a defender at the top corner of the area and sent a shot to the far post.

The United States dominated the match, taking 14 shots to Japan’s three, and came close on several occasions as they threatened to run away with the game in the second half.

In the 52nd minute, Rodriguez went down the right side and sent a cross to Abby Wambach at the far post. Wambach dove to head the ball, but sent her effort over the bar. Just two minutes later, Wambach whiffed on a ball from Megan Rapinoe, and in the 61st minute Rapinoe’s shot went wide of the mark.

Just one minute after coming into the game for Rodriguez in the 61st minute, 21-year-old Alex Morgan missed an opportunity to score on a wide open net. Morgan made a perfectly timed run onto a ball over the top from midfield. Japan’s goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori charged out to try and cut off the ball, and found herself way out of the penalty area. Morgan got to the ball, went around the stranded keeper and closed in on the empty net. She settled took one touch too many, however, and defender Azusa Iwashimizu charged back and cleared the ball off the line.

In the 67th minute, Morgan had a chance at redemption, but her shot was saved at the right post by Kaihori, who was replaced four minutes later by Miho Fukumoto.

After going up 2-0, the Americans continued to attack, but could not manage to solve the Japanese and their substitute goalkeeper.

In the 75th minute, Lori Lindsey, who had come in for Shannon Boxx in the 61st minute, chipped an 18-yardet over the net. Two minutes later, Wambach tried from outside the area, but Fukumoro made the save.

Wambach had another brilliant chance in the 77th minute, when Rapinoe sent a ball on the left to the striker at the far post. Her downward header hit the ground and bounced over the net.

Japan tested Hope Solo twice in the second half, but the goalkeeper, playing in only her second national team match since coming off shoulder surgery, responded well. In the 53rd minute, Mana Iwabuchi tried from distance, but her shot went right at Solo. In the 81st minute, Karina Marayma blasted a shot from the top of the 18 that Solo leaped to parry over the bar.

The United States has one game remaining on U.S. soil before the 2011 Women’s World Cup, which starts on June 26. They will face Mexico at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ on June 5.

Head coach Pia Sundhage has yet to name a replacement for Lindsey Tarpley, who tore her ACL in Saturday’s game. Philadelphia Independence rookie midfielder Sinead Farrley was on the bench for Wednesday’s game, but did not see any action.


   
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