– U.S. Players Return Home for Kickoff of NWSL Season With Next WNT Matches on April 6 and 10 vs. China PR in Commerce City, Colo., and San Diego
The U.S. Women’s National Team won its final game of the 2014 Algarve Cup, taking seventh place in the tournament with a 3-0 victory against Korea DPR on two goals from Abby Wambach and a late clincher from Heather O’Reilly.
The match marked O’Reilly’s 200th cap as she became the ninth female player in U.S. history to achieve that milestone. In those 200 games, she has been a direct part of 90 goals, scoring 40 and assisting on 50. She picked up her 50th assist in the USA’s previous match against Denmark on March 10.
The first goal, which came in the 11th minute, was thing of beauty. A series of quick passes moved the ball from the left to the right wing, where Ali Krieger had space to cross from almost flush on the sideline. Her booming service flew over the last North Korea defender to the crashing Wambach at the far post, and she finished powerfully with a diving header.
North Korea knocked the ball around well, and threated with some excellent ball movement through the midfield, but the USA’s team defense, led by center backs Becky Sauerbrunn and Rachel Van Hollebeke and center midfielder Carli Lloyd, was stellar in its ball-winning. The USA limited Korea DPR to just two shots in the game, neither of which was on goal.
Wambach doubled the leaded in the 58th minute, but Lloyd was the catalyst, making a tremendous dribbling run into the left side of the box that featured power and skill. She was able to get all the way to the end line and cut a short pass back through a defender’s legs to Wambach, who had her back to the goal. In a moment of inspiration, with one sweeping motion, Wambach rolled the ball with the sole of her left foot and into the net from close range past the stunned North Korea goalkeeper.
The goals were the 166th and 167th of Wambach’s career as she continues to add to her world record. The brace also upped her total at the Algarve Cup to 21, the most for any U.S. player.
After some initial attacking pressure from North Korea early in the second half, the USA dominated the rest of the game, but didn’t get a clinching goal until two minutes remained.
O’Reilly, who had come on at halftime for Tobin Heath, was the recipient of another Lloyd assist. This one was made possible by Krieger, who slid to knock a pass to Lloyd in the right side of the penalty area. Lloyd then sent a hard cross on the ground through the goal mouth and a Wambach run to the near post drew several North Korea defenders and the goalkeeper, leaving O’Reilly wide open at the far post to finish from the door step.
Most of the U.S. players will now return home to begin their pre-season camps with their National Women’s Soccer League clubs, while several will head back to Europe to finish their European club campaigns. The second season of the NWSL kicks off on April 12.
The USA will be back in action next for two games against China PR on April 6 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. (3 p.m. MT) and April 10 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego (8 p.m. PT, NBC Sports Network).
– The USA upped its record to 4-2-1 on the year.
– The USA moved to 5-0-1 all-time against Korea DPR. This was the first match between the countries that did not take place in a Women’s World Cup or an Olympics as the teams met in the group play at the 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cups and the 2012 Olympics.
– U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni made two subs during the second half, sending on Kelley O’Hara for Meghan Klingenberg at left back in the 59th minute and forward Christen Press played the final 15 minutes in relief of Amy Rodriguez.
– Goalkeeper Jill Loyden made her third career start in goal and picked up her second career shutout. It was her ninth overall cap and second this year.
– Carli Lloyd played all 90 minutes in all four matches, the only U.S. player to do so.
– With 40 goals and 50 assists Heather O’Reilly is just the seventh player in U.S. WNT history to join the 40/50 club, along with Abby Wambach (167/65), Mia Hamm (158/144), Kristine Lilly (130/105), Tiffeny Milbrett (100/61), Shannon MacMillan (60/50) and Julie Foudy (45/55).
– In yet another sign of the USA bringing out the best in its opponents, Sweden lost in the third-place match to Iceland, 2-1, and Denmark fell in the fifth-place match to China PR in penalty kicks, after tying 1-1 in regulation.
– Austria defeated Portugal 2-1 for 11th place.
-U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Korea DPR
Date: March 12, 2014
Competition: 2014 Algarve Cup – Seventh-Place Game
Venue: Belavista Municipal Stadium; Parchal, Portugal
Kickoff: 7 a.m. ET / 11 a.m. local
Weather: 61 degrees, sunny, breezy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 2 3
PRK 0 0 0
USA – Abby Wambach (Ali Krieger) 11th minute
USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd) 58
USA – Heather O’Reilly (Carli Lloyd) 88
USA: 21-Jill Loyden; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 16-Rachel Van Hollebeke, 25-Meghan Klingenberg (5-Kelley O’Hara, 59); 15-Megan Rapinoe, 7-Morgan Brian, 10-Carli Lloyd, 17-Tobin Heath (9-Heather O’Reilly, 46); 8-Amy Rodriguez (23-Christen Press, 75), 20-Abby Wambach (capt.)
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Hope Solo, 2-Sydney Leroux, 3-Christie Rampone, 6-Whitney Engen, 12-Samantha Mewis, 13-Sarah Hagen, 14-Stephanie Cox, 18-Alyssa Naeher, 19-Kristie Mewis,
Head coach: Tom Sermanni
PRK: 1-Hong Myong Hui; 6-Kim Un Hyang, 15-Kim Nam Hui, 16-Kim Un Ha, 19-Yun Song Mi; 7-Kim Su Gyong, 8-Kim Un Ju, 9-Jong Yu Ri, 12-Kim Yun Mi; 10-Ho Un Byol, 11-Ra Un Sim (capt.)
Substitutions Not Used: 3-Paek Gol Gum, 4-Jo Jong Sim, 13-Ri Yong Mi, 18-Kim Su Jong, 21-Cha Un Ju,
Head coach: Kim Kwang Min
Stats Summary: USA / PRK
Shots: 10 / 2
Shots on Goal: 5 / 0
Saves: 0 / 3
Corner Kicks: 2 /0
Fouls: 10 / 8
Offside: 2 / 0
PRK – Ra Un Sim (caution) 45th minute
Referee: Stephanie Frappart (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Ella De Vries (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Manuela Nicolosi (FRA)
Fourth Official: Riem Hussein (GER)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Rachel Van Hollebeke