Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
Playing in San Antonio, Texas for the first time in 17 years, the U.S. Women’s National Team made sure to put on a lively goal-scoring performance to send the fans home happy.
Facing Australia for the first time since he became USWNT head coach, Tom Sermanni and his squad jumped out to an early two-goal lead and never looked back, defeating Australia, 4-0, on Sunday afternoon at the Alamodome. Carli Lloyd scored one goal and added an assist in the winning effort, including a thundering half-volley reminiscent of her goals at the 2012 and 2008 Olympic Games.
Sermanni for the first time started Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, and Sydney Leroux together on the field, but it was actually the Matildas who nearly scored first. Sky Blue star forward Lisa De Vanna was played through as she beat the offside trap in the second minute, but her strike on goal was palmed over the bar by USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo.
It was the first of three one-on-one saves on the day by Solo on De Vanna.
The USWNT didn’t take long either to settle into the game, as a poorly cleared free kick from Becky Sauerbrunn in the 6th minute found it’s way to Lauren Holiday, who smashed home on the volley thanks to a deflection in front of goal to give the U.S. the lead.
Just eight minutes later, the U.S. would strike again as Lloyd unleashed a left-footed blast that left Australia goalkeeper Lydia Williams rooted to the spot, putting the USWNT up, 2-0 in the 14th minute.
Wambach scored the 162nd goal of her international career in the 56th minute when she ran onto a Lloyd pass, beat Williams to the ball, and slid home with the outside of her boot to give the U.S. a three-goal advantage.
After arriving just two days prior fresh off finishing her club season in Sweden, Christen Press put the finishing touches on the USWNT win with a flicked finish past Williams in the second minute of stoppage time. The goal was thanks to a terrific dummy by Morgan that allowed Press space to run onto the ball and score.
The game also marked referee Kari Seitz’s final match as a match official.
Here are the game highlights: