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National Teams Sep 20, 2012

U.S. Women’s National Team gives head coach Pia Sundhage 6-2 victory in final match in charge

In front of a sold-out crowd of 18,589 fans at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the U.S. Women’s National Team closed out the Pia Sundhage era with a 6-2 win against Australia in the third game of the Fan Tribute Tour. Five different goalscorers got on the board to extend the USA’s unbeaten lifetime record to 22-0-2 against Australia.

The win caps off the five-year tenure of Sundhage, who completed her service with a 91-6-10 record that included two Olympic Gold medals and a second-place finish at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“I think I’m a better coach after having been here for five years coaching on the highest level, in three finals and making all kinds of decisions with the team,” said Sundhage. “I’m very grateful and very happy for the team. It’s the best team in the world.”

Budweiser Woman of the Match Alex Morgan contributed two goals and Abby Wambach deposited the game-winner as the United States unloaded for four second half goals to sail past the visitors. Heather O’Reilly opened the scoring for the USA in the 25th minute, but Australia came back to take a 2-1 lead behind goal from Lisa de Vanna and Sarah Walsh, who was playing her last game for the Matildas. After Morgan and Wambach provided the U.S. with the lead once again, Shannon Boxx and Sydney Leroux rounded out the scoring.

The U.S. WNT improves its record to 23-1-1 in 2012, and next faces Germany on Oct. 20 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. Fans can follow the action on via’s MatchTracker or on Twitter.

After an even start to the match, the U.S. struck first after some industrious work by Alex Morgan. Earning her first 51st cap, the striker chased down a loose ball and slid a pass across the box to O’Reilly, whose well-struck effort caromed off a defender and into the back of the net.

Australia responded well with an equalizer seven minutes later off a lightning-fast counter when Clare Polkinghorne found Lisa de Vanna, who slipped a quick shot to the far post past a charging Hope Solo.

Before the USA could catch its breath, the Matildas snatched the lead in the 34th minute after Sarah Walsh tucked a strike under Solo following a cross from Stephanie Catley.

The U.S. equalized just before the interval off the foot of Morgan, who played a nice combination with Kelly O’Hara and finished with a precision strike from the left side of the penalty area.

The United States came out with the pedal to the metal in the second half, and took the lead for good in the 53rd minute. Morgan pounced on a poor pass from the Australian defense  and fired hard towards goal, her effort deflecting off Wambach’s leg and taking a strange bounce that found its way inside the Australian goal.

Ten minutes later, Morgan finished off a pass from Megan Rapinoe from the right side, heading home past the charging Aussie ‘keeper Brianna Davey. The scoring continued for the United States six minutes later when Boxx nodded home a header of her own off a Rapinoe corner kick, tallying for the second straight game against Australia.

Second-half substitute Sydney Leroux closed out the attacking display in the 82nd minute, once again benefitting from the industry of Rapinoe, getting on the end of a well-struck cross and heading home

Additional Notes:

  • Alex Morgan increased her career goal total to 34 in 51 international matches.
  • U.S. defender and team captain Christie Rampone played in her 270th career international match on Sunday. She sits four behind third-place Julie Foudy (272) on the all-time list.
  • The USA has outscored Australia 79-20 in their 24 meetings all-time.
  • The U.S. WNT earned its 14th consecutive victory dating back to early April of this year
  • Boxx earned her 174th cap and sole possession of 10th place overall on the all-time list, surpassing former goalkeeper Briana Scurry.
  • After three games of the Fan Tribute Tour, presented by Panasonic, the U.S. is undefeated at 3-0-0 and has outscored their opponents 16-3.

-U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. WNT vs. Australia
Date: Sept. 19, 2012
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.
Kickoff: 8:13 p.m. MT
Attendance: 18,589
Weather: 68 degrees, clear

Scoring Summary:   1      2      F
USA                               2      4      6
AUS                               2      0      2

USA – Heather O’Reilly (Alex Morgan)                                   25th minute
AUS – Lisa de Vanna (Clare Polkinghorne)                            32
AUS – Sarah Walsh (Stephanie Catley)                                   34
USA – Alex Morgan (Kelley O’Hara)                                         43
USA – Abby Wambach (Alex Morgan)                                    53
USA – Alex Morgan (Heather Mitts)                                        63
USA – Shannon Boxx (Megan Rapinoe)                                 69
USA – Sydney Leroux (Megan Rapinoe)                                                82

USA:   1-Hope Solo; 6-Amy LePeilbet (2-Heather Mitts, 46), 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 16-Rachel Buehler, 5-Kelley O’Hara (4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 46); 9-Heather O’Reilly (15-Megan Rapinoe, 46), 12-Lauren Cheney (7-Shannon Boxx, 46), 10-Carli Lloyd, 17-Tobin Heath (8-Amy Rodriguez, 62); 13-Alex Morgan (11-Sydney Leroux, 74), 14-Abby Wambach
Substitutions Not Used: 21-Jill Loyden
Head coach: Pia Sundhage

AUS:   18-Brianna Davey; 19-Stephanie Catley, 8-Danielle Brogan, 10-Servet Uzunlar, 7-Caitlin Foord;  4-Clare Polkinghorne (23-Alanna Kennedy, 74), 14-Collette McCallum (15-Emily van Egmond, 61), 17-Kyah Simon (22-Michelle Heyman, 76), 2-Teigen Allen (12-Kathryn Gill, 86); 9-Sarah Walsh (capt.) (3-Ashley Brown, 57), 11-Lisa de Vanna
Substitutions Not Used: 20-Samantha Kerr, 21-Mackenzie Arnold, 24-Emily Gielnik
Head coach: Tom Sermanni

Stats Summary: USA / AUS
Shots: 21 / 3
Shots on Goal: 13 / 2
Saves: 1 / 7
Corner Kicks: 4 / 1
Fouls: 3 / 8
Offside: 2 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
AUS – Sarah Walsh (caution)                       34th minute

Referee: Kristin Schiereck (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Emilie Buse (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Shannon Poplstein (USA)
Fourth Official: Katja Koroleva (USA)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Alex Morgan

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