USA Defeat Women's World Cup Champion Germany in International Friendly
A final score of 4-0 is not something women's soccer fans usually expect when the game involves the reigning World Cup champion competing against the reigning Olympic champion.
However, that was the case Saturday, May 22, when the U.S. Women's National Team (U.S. WNT) hosted the German WNT in Cleveland, OH in front of over 10,000 cheering fans.
Washington Freedom's Abby Wambach, opened the scoring sheet by converting a penalty kick in the 31st minute.
This marked her 106th international goal and moved her past Michelle Akers for sole possession of third place in the U.S. all-time scoring list.
Wambach is only behind soccer legends Mia Hamm and the Boston Breakers' Kristine Lilly, who scored her 130th goal in the 62nd minute.
"Glad that she got a goal, although I'm bummed because now it just means that I keep having to score more goals to catch her," Wambach, who assisted in the goal, joked to the reporters.
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Wambach scored the Americans' final goal of the night in the 63rd minute and had the chance to get a hat trick in the 91st minute, but she unselfishly gave the ball to newcomer Alex Morgan, who was called offsides.
Sky Blue FC's Heather O'Reilly scored the 26th goal of her career, ending a 14-game scoreless streak.
The lopsided score, however, was not reflective of the quality of the match.
Both teams found several good chances throughout the game. If it were not for the heroic efforts of the keepers, Germany's Nadine Angerer and the United States Hope Solo, the game would have featured a lot more goals.
St. Louis Athletica's Solo was named USSoccer.com's Woman of the Match after making three crucial saves and earning her 49th career shutout.
"Frankly, I think Hope Solo probably saves the game for us. She keeps us at obviously zero," said Wambach. "There's probably three goals that [the Germans] should have had that she just kept out of the goal.
"To have a goalkeeper like that, I feel like you have the greatest chance of winning World Cups and Olympic gold medals."
The U.S. WNT will have another opportunity to face a World Cup contender as they host the fourth-ranked Sweden in Omaha, Nebraska on July 13 and New Hartford, Connecticut on July 17.
PHOTO CREDIT: Charlotte Mace
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