Tuesday, October 23, 2012

US Women Draw Once Again

Article by Leanne Elston

After drawing 1-1 over the weekend, the USWNT took on Germany again Tuesday evening, this time playing to a 2-2 draw at rainy Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut.

Interim coach Jill Ellis ran out the following lineup: Solo; LePeilbet, Sauerbrunn, Rampone (c), O'Hara; O'Reilly, Lloyd, Boxx, Rapinoe; Morgan, Wambach. There were a few changes from the side that tied on Saturday night. In defense, Amy LePeilbet and Becky Sauerbrunn replaced Heather Mitts and Rachel Buehler. Heather O’Reilly and Carli Lloyd started instead of Tobin Heath and Lauren Cheney in the midfield, while the forward duo of Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan remained unchanged.

The match started out with plenty of action, though it was mostly in the US’ end as Germany applied the early pressure. The US’ first big chance came in the 10th minute when Shannon Boxx took one touch to bring down Megan Rapinoe’s corner, but the shot was just wide of the target.

After that Germany took the reins again and left the US to spend a lot of time defending. Germany’s Simone Laudehr, Linda Bresonik, and Alexandra Popp all had chances to score, but an early goal wasn’t in the cards for this game. The US struggled to create in the final third as the Germans stifled attacks before they really got going. Rapinoe took a free kick in the 28th minute that went well over the bar.
In the 31st minute, Alex Morgan got the ball to Abby Wambach in the box, but the pass was slightly behind Wambach and she didn’t get a good enough shot off to beat keeper Nadine Angerer. The play, however, was the result of some promising build-up from the US involving a lot of one-touch passing and excellent movement.

The deadlock was broken in the 44th minute when Wambach tallied her 148th international goal. Rapinoe’s cross was helped out by a German deflection and Wambach was at the back post to head the ball home and put the US 1-0 up going into halftime.

Ellis made one change to start the second half with Lauren Cheney coming in for Rapinoe. It didn’t take long for Germany to get the equalizer, though. Christie Rampone’s slip in midfield allowed Dzsenifer Marozsan to break through the US’ high line in the 48th minute. With only Hope Solo to beat, Marozsan finished coolly to bring the score level at 1-1.

Heather Mitts and Rachel Buehler entered the match in the 57th minute for Amy LePeilbet and Kelly O’Hara. Two minutes later a long ball from Carli Lloyd bounced past defender Luisa Wensing and put Wambach in on goal, but her chip was saved by Angerer. In the 64th minute, Tobin Heath was substituted for Heather O’Reilly in midfield.

Moments after the substitution Wambach crashed through the German defense to get to a corner kick, but her header narrowly missed the goal. Soon after that Marozsan took a shot from just outside the 18 yard box; Solo allowed the shot to rebound before making the save.

In the 67th minute, a great long ball from the US got Morgan past the German defense. She dribbled to the endline and cut the ball back; although the pass was behind Lloyd, Heath was there to slot it home and put the US ahead 2-1.

The final 20 minutes saw action at both ends of the field. Marozsan continued to do battle with Solo in the 71st minute when a US turnover allowed her to shoot. Solo made the save but it rebounded; the second attempt was wide of the net. In the 84th minute Sydney Leroux came on for second-half sub Mitts, who picked up an injury; it was a straight swap as Leroux, a forward, went in as a right back.

Marozsan bagged her brace in the 85th minute with a left-footed shot from 20 yards that made it past a diving Solo and brought the score level again at 2-2. In the end, the draw was a fair result as the US and Germany played an entertaining game with excellent soccer from both sides.

The USWNT will play their next matches against Ireland on November 28th and December 1st, in Portland, Oregon and Glendale, Arizona respectively.

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