By CAITLIN MURRAY
The U.S. Women’s National Team have ended the Algarve Cup on a high note.
Bouncing back from two uncharacteristic losses, the USWNT finished off the tournament Wednesday with a convincing 3-0 win against North Korea.
It wasn’t the showing the USWNT were hoping for at the annual tournament – they finished in 7th place overall, their lowest placement ever. But the win against a weaker team probably restores some confidence that was shaken earlier this week, when the USWNT allowed a record five goals in a single match for a loss.
The USWNT opened scoring against North Korea in the 11th minute on a quintessential Abby Wambach goal. Ali Krieger sent a long-range cross into the box where Wambach met it for a diving header.
Wambach doubled the lead in the 58th minute on a chance set up by Carli Lloyd, who dribbled through traffic in front of goal where Wambach finished a loose ball.
Heather O’Reilly closed out the USWNT’s scoring in a match that marked her 200th cap, making her the ninth member of the USWNT to hit that milestone. A Lloyd cross bounced through defenders far post to O’Reilly, who easily finished.
The win helped the USWNT avoid going winless in four consecutive games for the first time since 2001. The Americans tied to Japan to open the Algarve Cup, lost for the first time in 43 games against their former coach’s Sweden squad and then suffered a shocking 5-3 loss to Denmark.
The U.S. tried fewer shots against North Korea than they had all tournament, with only 10 shots, giving them their best conversion rate of the four games.
The match marked the first time the USWNT faced North Korea outside of an Olympics or World Cup, pushing them to 5-0-1 all-time against the North Koreans and 4-2-1 for the year.
Up next, the USWNT host two friendlies against China, an April 6 match in Colorado followed by another April 10 in San Diego, Calif.
What did you think of the USWNT’s Algarve Cup? Is their win against North Korea a return to the form we’ll see leading up the World Cup?
Share your thoughts below.