ALBUFEIRA, Portugal - Three Tar Heels played the full 90 minutes Friday as the U.S. Women's National Team defeated China PR 5-0 in the second match in group play at the 2013 Algarve Cup.
Defender Whitney Engen and midfielders Yael Averbuch and Tobin Heath played the full 90 minutes for the U.S. with Engen earning her first national team goal, scoring unassisted in the 84th minute of play. Another former Tar Heel, Heather O'Reilly, came on in the 67th minute in relief of forward Alex Morgan.
Christen Press scored her fourth goal in as many games in 2013, the most on the team this year, as she continues to impress during her debut campaign for the national team. Defenders Ali Krieger and Whitney Engen each scored their first international goals and forward Sydney Leroux garnered the game's first goal en route to the USA's highest scoring output of the year.
With the win, the USA sets up a clash for the Group B title and a place in the championship game when it faces Sweden on March 11 at Municipal Stadium in Lagos. Kickoff is at 3 p.m. local (11 a.m. ET) and fans can watch the match on TV or online via Pay-Per-View.
U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni made 10 changes to the starting lineup from the 3-0 opening game victory against Iceland, with forward Alex Morgan as the only player in the starting lineup for two games in a row.
After the Americans built a four-goal lead, Engen, who started in the center of the defense with Becky Sauerburnn and was playing in just her fourth career match WNT, became the third defender to score this tournament. Her first career goal came in the 84th minute when she followed up Heather O'Reilly's initial shot that was only partially cleared by China's Wu Haiyan. Engen was in the right play to slot her shot into the right corner from the left side of the box in for a 5-0 lead.
The U.S. dominated from start to finish and had ample opportunities to add to the lead. Morgan had a string of three shots on goal from the right side of the penalty area in the 37th minute, but Yue made fine point blank stops on each chance. Midfielder Yael Averbuch's curling left-footed strike in the 78th minute ricocheted off of the left post and she hit a screaming free kick just over the goal in the first half.
The Algarve Cup is being distributed in the United States by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, Avail-TVN, DIRECTV and DISH for a suggested retail price of only $14.95 per match. Additional same day replays will be available. Check with your Pay-Per-View provider for replay times. Fans can visit Integratedsportsnet.com for updates on TV coverage.
Fans can also watch the matches online via Pay-Per-View. For web streaming information go to http://www.ustream.tv/integratedsportsppv. Fans can also follow the match via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.
- The USA improved its unbeaten streak to 27 games, with the last loss coming against Japan on March 5 at the 2012 Algarve Cup in Portugal. During that span, he U.S. has scored 88 goals while allowing 20 in 24 wins and three draws.
- Sydney Leroux made her second career start, playing up top with Morgan, while French-based flank midfielders Tobin Heath and Megan Rapinoe started on the right and left, respectively. Yael Averbuch and Christen Press started in the center midfield with Whitney Engen paired with Sauerbrunn in the central defense.
U.S. Women's National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. Women's National Team vs. China PR
Date: March 8, 2013
Competition: 2013 Algarve Cup
Venue: Municipal Stadium
Kickoff: 2 p.m. local / 9 a.m. ET
Weather: 63 degrees, rainy, cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 3 5
CHN 0 0 0
USA - Sydney Leroux (Alex Morgan) 14th minute
USA - Ali Krieger (Alex Morgan) 32
USA - Megan Rapinoe 46
USA - Christen Press (Alex Morgan) 64
USA - Whitney Engen 84
USA : 18-Nicole Barnhart; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 14-Whitney Engen, 8-Kristie Mewis; 17-Tobin Heath, 16-Yael Averbuch, 23-Christen Press (22-Lindsey Horan, 74), 15-Megan Rapinoe; 2-Sydney Leroux, 13-Alex Morgan (9-Heather O'Reilly, 67) Substitutions Not Used: 3-Christie Rampone, 5-Kelley O'Hara, 6-Crystal Dunn, 7-Shannon Boxx, 10-Carli Lloyd, 19-Rachel Buehler; 20-Abby Wambach, 24-Ashlyn Harris Head coach: Tom Sermanni
CHN: 1-Zhang Yue (12-Wang Fei, 52); 4-Li Jiayue, 5-Wu Haiyan, 6-Zeng Ying, 11-Pu Wei (capt.), 16-Wang Chen, 19-Zhou Feifei, 21-Wang Lisi, 23-Ren Guixin (20-Wang Shuang 3rd,10-Ma Xiaoxu, 63), 25-Zhang Rui, 27-Li Ying Substitutions Not Used: 3-Qin Qingfei, 14-Lu Yueyun, 15-Lei Jiahui, 18-Hang Peng Head coach: Hao Wei
USA / CHN
Shots: 24 / 3
Shots on Goal: 14 / 3
Saves: 3 / 9
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 8 / 12
Offside: 2 / 3
Misconduct Summary: CHN - Wang Lisi (caution) 39th minute CHN - Wang Shuang (caution) 54 CHN - Li Ying (caution) 57
Officials: Referee: Jana Adamkova (CZE) Assistant Referee 1: Lucia Ratajova (CZE) Assistant Referee 2: Adriana Secova (CZE) Fourth Official: Esther Azzopardi (MLT)Budweiser Woman of the Match: Ali Krieger