The United States women's national team appeared to have little rust after about a month break and defeated Australia 4-0 in an international friendly.
This is the first of three matches in a span of 11 days for the American squad. It was also an emotional reunion for head coach Tom Sermanni, who led Australia to three World Cup appearances, including a run to the quarterfinals in the last two events.
Of course, he did not take it easy on his former squad as the United States improved to 11-0-2 in 2013.
It did not take long for the home team to get on the scoresheet. Lauren Holiday got the game started with a goal in the sixth minute, which got her club, FC Kansas City, excited:
The team was then able to extend the lead only a few minutes later when Carli Lloyd took advantage of a deflection.
Great goal from Lloyd! Morgan put a ball across the box, it was deflected and fell to Lloyd who hammered it into the corner from 20 yds!— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) October 20, 2013
After earning a 2-0 lead, USA started being more patient with the ball and controlled possession for much of the action heading into halftime. Meanwhile, the Australian squad could barely manage to get quality looks at the net on the attack.
A goal in the 56th minute by captain Abby Wambach gave the United States a 3-0 lead, which became insurmountable.
Wambach scores! Opportunistic finish from the world's all-time leading scorer with the outside of her right foot! #USWNT 3, Australia 0— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) October 20, 2013
Christen Press then scored the final goal of the match in stoppage time when Morgan Brian dummied a cross from Heather O’Reilly.
Although Australia had some decent opportunities, it simply could not match up with the talent across the pitch and ended up suffering a tough defeat.
Abby Wambach, United States: A
The leading scorer in international history added to that total on Sunday, surprisingly with a shot from the outside of her right foot. While many of her previous goals were with her head, she showed that she has more in her arsenal with an impressive finish in this one.
It is clear that age is still not a factor for one of the best players in the history of the sport.
Lauren Holiday, United States: A-
The midfielder formerly known as Lauren Cheney changed her name when she married NBA star Jrue Holiday. However, the results are the same as ever:
Lauren Cheney: 20 goals for the #USWNT. Lauren Holiday: 1 goal!— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) October 20, 2013
While Holiday is often overshadowed by her other talented teammates, the player showed with her effort in this match that she is still among the best scorers available.
Katrina Gorry, Australia: B-
Australia could not get much going offensively against the United States, but Katrina Gorry gave her side as much help as could have been expected. The 21-year-old player found a few looks at the net and provided some solid opportunities, but it was not enough to score.
Still, Gorry was one of the more active players on the roster.
Lydia Williams, Australia: C-
It is hard to blame a goalkeeper when the opposing offense takes 16 shots and 11 of them are on net. However, Lydia Williams cannot be happy with her performance that saw four goals get past her.
She will hope for better days against weaker opponents in the future.
The United States has two more international friendlies coming up against New Zealand. The first is on Oct. 27 in San Francisco, with the second on Oct. 30 in Columbus, Ohio. The USWNT will finish its 2013 schedule with a Nov. 10 game against Brazil in Orlando, Fla.
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