Wambach notched 2 goals and an assist on the occasion for the USWNT, as they triumphed in a 4-0 win over the Germany WNT. Wambach has become 3rd All-Time top scorer in USWNT history, after scoring her 106th goal, which was the USWNT's first of the night.
May 22nd was an outstanding day for the USWNT, as they defeated FIFA's 2nd place Germany WNT in a 4-0 thrashing.
The first 20 minutes of the game would have any USWNT fan on the edge of their seats, but not in excitement...more like in nervousness. The Germans looked strong for the beginning of the match, and had some good looks and close chances, with Grings offside 3 times. We had opportunities, as our midfield wasn't absent for these first 20, yet they turned over possession quite a bit, and made some unsuccessful long ball efforts. The Germans are generally taller than the USWNT, so long balls were mostly unsuccessful, due to the German's height advantage, and our lack thereof. Many of the long balls played in were headed away, or never played all the way through if they were won. Things began to change though, after the USA was awarded a penalty in about the 28th minute. In my opinion, it was not the right call. The ball was sent into the 18, and was received by Wambach, who had tried to turn and shoot, but ended up falling to the ground in the process. The German defender was holding onto Wambach, but did not bring her down, even though it looked like she did as Wambach turned to take the shot and fell in the process. The referee whistled and pointed to the spot, and Wambach was assigned to take the penalty. Wambach lined herself up, the whistle blew, and she slotted a perfect penalty right into the left pocket of the goal, past German keeper Angerer, who had dove the right way. With this goal, being her 106th, she became 3rd All-Time top scorer for the USWNT, passing Michelle Akers.
Goal 1 was on the scoreboard for the USWNT, and that's when the momentum shifted, as did the pace, all in the USWNT's favor. The passing in this game was pretty good, as the USWNT often created some excellent, smart plays, and strung together some quick, nifty looking one- and two-touch passes and give and go's. Goal number 2 would come shortly after, from a corner kick effort in the 35th minute. The USWNT were smart in using their corner kicks; they aimed for Wambach who has the height to reach the ball, which is especially useful against taller opponents, such as Germany. Wambach got her head to the ball on a few occasions, and one would eventually be converted to a goal. The ball came in from the corner spot, and Wambach jumped up to meet the ball with her head. It went right to Angerer who stopped the ball, but it had gone loose, as she didn't catch the header. A-Rod was there, and the ball deflected off her as she scrambled for it. She passed it over to HaO who was right in front of goal. All HaO had to do was put the ball in, and that's exactly what she did, scoring the USWNT's 2nd of the night, and her first for 2010.
Goal number 2 was on the board for the USWNT. Halftime came after some more chances from both teams, and the opponents headed to the locker rooms. The game resumed, and it was still the USWNT's show. There were some scares, however. It could have easily been 2-1 as the Germans were in the face of goal. Garefreckes had what seemed to be a sure chance, but it was only to be stopped by Solo. That was one of 3 fantastic saves offered by Solo on the occasion. Solo would go on to save 2 other close shots at the face of goal, using her reflexes and skill to prove why she's one of the best there is. Solo's world class saves would keep the USWNT in the game, and would gain her a well-deserved clean sheet against a World Giant. Play continued, and the next goal came for the USWNT, one that came to be, thanks to Wambach's persistence and determination. Wambach fought her way through pressure on the sideline, and began dribbling towards the 18. She dribbled down the flank, and did a nice little trick move by passing the ball through the oncoming defender's legs to pass her and enter the 18 yard box. As Wambach went towards the near post, she lured a defender over, and passed it to Lilly who was open. Lilly took the shot and sent it into the back of the net, after it bounced off the right post. This would be her 130th international goal, as well as the USWNT's 3rd goal of the night. As if this wasn't embarrassing enough for the 2nd place team to be losing 3-0, the next goal came, within the next minute. The goal was scored off a smart, well executed play. Wambach was running towards goal as the USWNT was on the attack, with a defender on each side. Lori Lindsey, who was dribbling towards goal, saw the perfect opportunity, and lined up a ground cross that went right to the feet of Wambach who was in the 18. Wambach slotted it away perfectly, putting it into the back of the net at the far post. This marked her 2nd goal of the match, the 107th of her international career, and the 4th and final goal notched for the USWNT on the occasion.
There were many chances afterward by both teams, and Rapinoe joined the action for the first time in a while. She did well, as she made some smart through passes and plays. The USWNT could have definitely put one or 2 more away. One chance that looked golden was when Rapinoe slotted a through pass to HaO which beat the defenders. HaO rushed the shot and it went wide. Stoppage time came, and it looked like the USWNT would have a 5th goal. A mix-up in the German defense caused Wambach and rookie Morgan to be all alone, 2 v 1 against Angerer. Wambach dribbled it calmly towards goal, and had a perfect shot, which could have allowed her to notch a hat-trick on the occasion. But, Wambach, being the team player that she is, sacrificed her hat-trick for the rookie's 1st USWNT goal. Wambach passed it over to Morgan who did put it away...however, the referee nullified the goal, as Morgan was offside. It was a noble and selfless thing for Wambach to do by passing it off when she could have easily slotted it away to get her hat-trick, and it would have been great to have a rookie score her debut goal, but due to the pesky rules of offsides, the 5th goal would never happen.
Shortly thereafter, the match would conclude, as the USWNT once again prove why they deserve the Number 1 Rank. The Germans will walk away from this match with lots to think about, while the USWNT gains more confidence in their excellent form.
The next action for the USWNT will be in mid-July, when they will face off in a double-header against Sweden, here in the United States.
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