Standing-room only crowd sees U.S. WNT defeat Australia 6-2
Commerce City, Colo. - A standing-room only sellout crowd of 18,589 saw the gold medal-winning U.S. Women's National Team defeat Australia 6-2 on Wednesday night at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in coach Pia Sundhage's final match at the helm. Star forward Alex Morgan scored two goals and added two assists in match in which the U.S. scored five unanswered goals after falling 2-1.
Fans that began lining up at the gates hours before kickoff were treated to an offensive show that saw four goals in each half.
Heather O'Reilly got the USA on the board first by ripping a shot that deflected off the foot of an Australian defender and into the goal in the 25th minute. The lead lasted only seven minutes as the Aussies scored on twice within two minutes to take the lead.
The first goal was a quick build up from the right side that ended with Lisa de Vanna slipping a ball past the outstretched dive by U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo. Australia then went ahead when Stephanie Catley's cross from the left side was not cleared and fell to veteran Sarah Walsh, who shot past the diving Solo from close range.
U.S. forward Alex Morgan then score the first of five consecutive USA goals with an individual effort near the endline that ended with a well placed shot to the far side net to send the teams even into the halftime break.
The U.S. then poured it on the second half.
Abby Wambach re-directed a Morgan shot that bounced over the defense and into the goal to retake the lead. The USA put the game away by heading in three straight goals.
Morgan was first as she jumped high to head home a Heather Mitts cross from the right side. Shannon Boxx then headed home a Megan Rapinoe corner back across the goal, and Sydney Leroux had a fantastic diving header off a Rapinoe free kick to close out the scoring.
The match was the third of the U.S. Women's Fan Tribute Tour, celebrating the team's third consecutive Olympic gold medal. It was also the final match in charge for coach Pia Sundhage, who is returning to her native Sweden to coach her country's Women's team. In five years as coach of the U.S. WNT, Sundhage amassed an incredible record of 91-6-10, leading the women to two Olympic gold medals and a second-place finish at the 2011 FIFA World Cup.
USA – Heather O’Reilly (Alex Morgan) 25'
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