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Global Dec 16, 2012

U.S. Women’s team ends memorable 2012 year with 4-1 win over China

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated China PR 4-1 in front of 10,493 fans at Florida Atlantic University Stadium to cap off the 10-game post-Olympic “Fan Tribute Tour”.

Abby Wambach scored her 151st and 152nd career goals, Megan Rapinoe tallied an unassisted game-winner from 40 yards out and Sydney Leroux scored her record 14th goal off the bench as the 2012 London Olympic gold medalists finished the year with a 28-1-3 record.

U.S. defender and team captain Christie Rampone earned her 276th career cap on the night to move into sole possession of second place all-time, moving ahead of Mia Hamm (275 caps from 1987-2004) and behind only Kristine Lilly who had 352 caps from 1987-2010.

The match marked the final game for U.S. interim head coach Jill Ellis, who compiled a 5-0-2 record in the final seven games of the Fan Tribute Tour. New head coach Tom Sermanni officially begins his tenure on Jan. 1, 2013. The U.S. WNT will take a much-deserved break over the holiday season and start its 2013 schedule on Feb. 9 against Scotland in Jacksonville, Fla.

Wambach finished the year with 27 goals, the second most for her in a calendar year. Combined with Alex Morgan’s 28 goals, the two forwards tied a U.S. WNT record for most combined goals scored by two players in a calendar year, equaling the mark of 55 goals set by Michelle Akers (39 goals) and Carin Jennings (16 goals) in 1991.

The USA got on the board in the 18th minute after left back Kelley O’Hara took a throw-in on the left sideline in the attacking third. Megan Rapinoe touched the ball back to O’Hara, who flicked it into the box to Morgan. The forward fended off a couple of China defenders before looping a short, but high cross with the outside of her left foot toward Wambach. As she had done 61 times previously, Wambach scored with her head, placing her lunging six-yard shot perfectly just inside the left post.

The USA pushed the lead to 2-0 in the 36th minute when Rapinoe scored opportunistically and spectacularly from long distance. Carli Lloyd and Heather O’Reilly put some intense pressure on the Chinese back line and forced a hurried clearance from Chinese goalkeeper Wang Fei, who was already about 30 yards off her line. The ball rolled straight to Rapinoe just outside the center circle and she launched her shot from 40-yards out into the open net on one bounce. It was Rapinoe’s eighth goal of the year and 19th of her career.

China pulled a goal back just seconds before halftime when Han Peng eluded U.S. right back Amy LePeilbet with a tremendous dribbling move in the left side of the penalty area and struck a left-footed shot the skipped into the lower right corner of the goal. It was China’s only goal over the three matches that ended the Fan Tribute Tour and came on just one of its two shots on goal. The USA out-scored China 10-1 over the three games.

China’s goal put to end a 409-minute shutout streak by the USA defense, which had previously not allowed a goal since a 2-2 draw against Germany on Oct. 23.

The U.S. regained a two-goal lead in the 64th minute as Rapinoe sent in one of her trademark bending crosses from the left wing that settled perfectly onto Wambach’s head. Wambach muscled her way between two China defenders for the header that clanged off the right post and bounced just over crossed the goal line. It was the 63rd header goal of her career.

With just three minutes left, second-half sub Leroux put a cap on a remarkable year, scoring her 14th goal of 2012, all of them coming off the bench. The USA’s youngest player set a team record for most goals as a reserve in a single year. The goal came when Lloyd played a nice ball down the right wing to Tobin Heath, who then played a pass back to defender Heather Mitts who chipped a cross in from the right side of the box. Leroux cut in front of a defender to power home her header from close range and into the lower right corner.

Additional Notes:

  • Alex Morgan’s 21st assist of 2012 tied her for the second-most assists in a calendar year with Carin Jennings (21 assists in 1991). Hamm still holds the assists record with 22 in 2004.
  • Morgan has 58 career caps since she debuted in 2010. In those 58 games, she has been a part of 62 goals with 38 scored and 24 assisted.
  • Interim head coach Jill Ellis made three changes heading into the second half. Midfielder Lauren Cheney, defender Becky Sauerbrunn and midfielder Tobin Heath came on for Alex Morgan, Amy LePeilbet and Heather O’Reilly.
  • The U.S. improved to 97-2-7 when Abby Wambach scores a goal.
  • In the 23-game unbeaten streak since the USA lost to Japan on March 5 at the Algarve Cup in Portugal, the USA has scored 73 goals while allowing 18 in 20 wins and three ties.
  • The USA has not lost a match in a little more than nine months.
  • The U.S. WNT finished the year with 120 goals, the third most all-time in a calendar year. The USA scored 124 in 2000 and 22 in 1991.
  • One hundred of the 120 U.S. goals were assisted.
  • Defender Heather Mitts more than doubled her career assists this year, registering five after having only three assists prior to 2012.
  • Wambach was the only U.S. player start and play in all 32 matches this year. Carli Lloyd and Christie Rampone were the only two other players to play in all 32 matches.
  • Over the 10-game Fan Tribute Tour, Wambach led the team with nine goals. Nine different players scored the 36 goals during the Fan Tribute Tour.
  • At halftime of the match, the new name and logo of the National Women’s Soccer League were unveiled.


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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. China PR
Date: Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: FAU Stadium; Boca Raton, Fla.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Attendance: 10,493
Weather: 73 degrees, warm and partly cloudy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                        2 2 4
CHN                        1 0 1

USA – Abby Wambach (Alex Morgan) 18th minute
USA – Megan Rapinoe 36
CHN – Han Peng (Li Ying) 45
USA – Abby Wambach (Megan Rapinoe) 64
USA – Sydney Leroux (Heather Mitts) 87

USA: 1-Hope Solo; 6-Amy LePeilbet (4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 46), 3-Christie Rampone (capt.) (2-Heather Mitts, 75), 16-Rachel Buehler, 5-Kelley O’Hara; 9-Heather O’Reilly (17-Tobin Heath, 46), 7-Shannon Boxx, 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe (11-Sydney Leroux, 65); 13-Alex Morgan (12-Lauren Cheney, 46), 14-Abby Wambach (8-Amy Rodriguez, 75)
Subs Not Used: 18-Nicole Barnhart
Head coach: Jill Ellis

CHN: 12-Wang Fei; 4-Li Jiayue, 14-Wang Dongni, 20-Huang Yini, 26-Wu Haiyan, 16-Wang Chen, 18-Han Peng, 11-Pu Wei (capt.), 23-Ren Guixin (13-Wang Shanshan, 55), 25-Zhang Rui, 27-Li Ying (21-Wang Lisi, 67; 7-Bi Yan, 86)
Subs Not Used: 1-Zhang Yue, 2-Wang Lingling, 6-Lin Yuping, 10-Ma Xiaoxu, 19-Liu Shanshan, 33-Zhang Xin
Head coach: Hao Wei

Stats Summary: USA / CHN
Shots: 20 / 5
Shots on Goal: 11 / 2
Saves: 1 / 8
Corner Kicks: 7 / 0
Fouls: 8 / 10
Offside: 0 / 6

Misconduct Summary
CHN – Zhang Rui (caution) 33rd minute
CHN – Han Peng (caution) 90+1

Referee: Christina Ibanez (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Veronica Perez (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Shannon Poplstein (USA)
Fourth Official: Kari Seitz (USA)

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