COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (April 6, 2014) – Lauren Holiday scored an unassisted goal in the first half and Megan Rapinoe followed with a second-half goal off of direct free kick as the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated China PR 2-0 in front of 14,903 fans at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The winning margin could have been much higher as the USA created a bevy of scoring chances throughout the match. The U.S. finished with a 25-1 advantage in shots and put 12 goal, several of which were cleared out of the goal mouth by defenders.
Goalkeepers Hope Solo and Jill Loyden combined for the clean sheet with Loyden making one save in the second half.
Against China, the USA had the ball at its feet in the offensive third for the entirety of the first half and could have gained the upper hand early on multiple occasions.
Sydney Leroux had two promising chances in the 14th and 16th minutes, only to see China goalkeeper Zhang Yue lunge to her right for the first save and tip Leroux’s second attempt over the crossbar. Christen Press also threatened the net with regularity – a 25th-minute strike that hit the outside right netting, followed by two shots on goal over the next eight minutes that Yue turned away.
Yue had six saves to keep the USA off the score sheet for the majority of the first half, but the U.S. finally was rewarded for its heavy attack.
In the 39th minute, Leroux’s pressure against Yue forced the China goalkeeper to scramble on a clearance out of the six-yard box. China’s defense was on its heels, managing to block a couple USA shot attempts, until Holiday was there for a crisp rebound from 19 yards out that found the left side of the frame for her 23rd career goal and a 1-0 lead.
The USA switched goalkeepers to open the second half, bringing in Loyden after the break. Loyden was immediately tested, making a clutch stop in the 48th minute on a header attempt that bounced in the six-yard box before she deflected it away. That was the closest China could get to the net on Sunday.
Holiday nearly had a brace in the 55th minute, but her shot at the near left post was cleared off the goal line by China’s defense.
Still clinging to a one-goal lead, second-half sub Rapinoe provided a bit of a cushion. From approximately 28 yards out, Rapinoe’s free kick from the left side eluded everyone in the box, bounced on the edge of the six-yard box and snuck into the right side of the frame to give the USA a 2-0 lead. It was Rapinoe’s second goal of the year and 25th of her career.
In addition to the victory, the USA also took a moment to pay tribute to Heather O’Reilly’s recent accomplishment of reaching 200 international caps. O’Reilly became the ninth WNT player to reach that mark, and Sunday’s game was career cap No. 201.
- The USA added to its record home unbeaten streak, which is now 81 games. The U.S. WNT is 71-0-10 during its current stretch, which started on Dec. 8, 2004, with a 5-0 victory against Mexico in Carson, Calif.
- Midfielder Heather O’Reilly, who was honored before the match for reaching 200 career caps, played in game No. 201 on Sunday to tie longtime defender Kate Markgraf (201 caps from 1998-2010). O’Reilly became the ninth WNT player to reach the 200-game milestone.
- With her 169th career cap, midfielder Carli Lloyd passed Carla Overbeck for 14th on the WNT all-time appearances list.
- Lauren Holiday now has 23 career goals to go along with her 29 assists for 75 points. She ranks 18th on the all-time WNT points list, just one point behind Joy Fawcett (76 points from 1987-2004).
Next on the Schedule:
- The U.S. WNT faces China PR again at 8 p.m. PT (11 p.m. ET) on Thursday, April 10, at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif.
- Broadcast information: NBC Sports Network
- Social: Twitter ( @ussoccer_wnt ); Facebook; Instagram
- The USA is 5-2-1 in 2014.
- The U.S. is now 31-8-12 all-time against China PR.
- The WNT is 3-0-0 all-time at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
- The USA is now 18-2-4 all-time under head coach Tom Sermanni.
- Sermanni’s lineup featured Hope Solo in goal, with a defensive line featuring left back Meghan Klingenberg, right back Ali Krieger and center backs Becky Sauerbrunn and Whitney Engen.
- The starting midfield in Sermanni’s 4-3-3 formation included Carli Lloyd, Lauren Holiday and Morgan Brian. Up front, Heather O’Reilly wore the captain’s armband and joined Sydney Leroux and Christen Press in the attacking group.
- Jill Loyden split goalkeeping duties with Solo, who did not see a shot attempt from China during the first 45 minutes. Solo made her 149th career appearance and Loyden earned her 10th career cap and third appearance of 2014.
- Abby Wambach replaced Press in the 57th minute to make her 219th career appearance. Wambach has played in seven games this year, coming off the bench on three occasions.
- Megan Rapinoe earned her 83rd cap when she took over for Holiday in the 67th minute.
- Forward Amy Rodriguez saw some minutes as she replaced O’Reilly in the 83rd minute.
- Tobin Heath was the USA’s final sub, replacing Lloyd in the 84th minute.
- Rapinoe, O’Reilly, Press and Sauerbrunn are the only WNT players to have appeared in all eight USA matches this year.
-U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. China PR
Date: April 6, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.
Kickoff: 3 p.m. MT
Weather: 53 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
CHN 0 0 0
USA – Lauren Holiday 39th minute
USA – Megan Rapinoe 78
USA: 1-Hope Solo (21-Jill Loyden, 46); 11-Ali Krieger, 6-Whitney Engen, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 25-Meghan Klingenberg; 7-Morgan Brian, 12-Lauren Holiday (15-Megan Rapinoe, 67), 10-Carli Lloyd (17-Tobin Heath, 84); 9-Heather O’Reilly (8-Amy Rodriguez, 83); 2-Sydney Leroux, 23-Christen Press (20-Abby Wambach, 57)
Substitutions Not Used: 14-Stephanie Cox, 16-Rachel Van Hollebeke
Head coach: Tom Sermanni
CHN: 1-Zhang Yue, 3-Wang Lingling (14-Wang Shanshan, 45+1), 6-Zeng Ying, 26-Li Dongna, 30-Liu Shanshan; 16-Wan Chen 10-Li Ying, 39), 18-Han Peng, 23-Ren Guixin, 25-Zhang Rui (11-Huang Yini, 87), 28-Zhang Xin (19-Zhou Feifei, 64, 7-Xu Yanlu, 83); 9-Lou Jiahui (29-Yang Li, 22)
Substitutions Not Used: 13-Gao Qi, 17-Li Xiangli, 20-Song Duan, 21-Wang Lisi, 22-Wang Yun
Head coach: Hao Wei
Stats Summary: USA / CHN
Shots: 23 / 1
Shots on Goal: 12 / 1
Saves: 1 / 9
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 4 / 10
Offside: 1 / 0
CHN – Wang Shanshan (caution) 90th minute
Referee: Christina Unkel (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Veronica Perez (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marlene Duffy (USA)
Fourth Official: Tyler Ploeger (USA)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Heather O’Reilly