Posted on October 21, 2012
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The match between the top two teams in the FIFA Women’s world rankings lived up to the hype as the No. 1 U.S. wome played No. 2 Germany to a 1-1 draw in front of a sellout crowd of 19,522 at Toyota Park on the Fan Tribute Tour on Saturday night.
The lone goal for the Olympic gold medal winners came in the second minute as forward Abby Wambach scored her 147th career goal.
The Americans moved to 23-1-2 this year.
“Fantastic crowd and an educated crowd. They never stopped throughout the entire game,” Wambach said. “This is what it’s about. Since the Olympics we’ve come home to mostly sold-out stadiums. To me, this is what it’s about. We want to come and win and show the crowd what we can do, but more importantly it’s about the experience and the environment that the crowd creates. … It proves to me what we’ve accomplished.”
The two teams return to the pitch at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Jill Ellis, the development director for U.S. Women’s National Team, managed her first game as interim coach as U.S. Soccer seeks a replacement for Pia Sundhage.
The Americans needed one minute and 47 seconds to strike first when Wambach scored from close range as she slid to tap in Alex Morgan’s team-leading 16th assist for a 1-0 lead. The goal was created when Tobin Heath won the ball from Germany right back Bianca Schmidt and fed to Lauren Cheney in the middle. She found Morgan on the left side and the speedy U.S. striker sent a hard service across the goal box toward the far right post. Wambach held her run just enough to stay onside before slipping behind the defense to knock home her 22nd goal of 2012.
Germany’s Anja Mittag responded with a 14th-minute equalizer – a left-footed strike into the far right corner that just sailed over goalkeeper Hope Solo’s outstretched glove. Mittag shot at top speed after running onto a one-touch assist from Simone Laudehr, who worked herself free from the defense in the middle of the field.
The U.S. caught a big break in the 24th minute after Linda Bresonik got free behind the U.S. defense on the right side and rolled a pass to the open Laudehr. The German midfielder had an open look at goal from just over six yards away, but somehow sliced her shot just wide left of the post.
The hosts almost scored a go-ahead goal just before halftime when Morgan raced down the right side and cross back into the middle to Cheney, who smashed her right-footed volley barely wide of the right post.
Solo produced a vital save in the 64th minute with a diving stop on Mittag’s shot after she ran onto a pass the was slipped up the middle into the penalty area. Solo dived to her right to push away the driven shot and Germany’s follow-up attempt from Dzsenifer Marozsan missed the frame high.
Second-half substitute Heather O’Reilly had one of the USA’s best scoring chances of the second half in the 75th minute when she hit a bending left-footed shot from a little more than 20 yards that went just over the crossbar and hit the top netting.
Solo and Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer each had one save.
Categories: North America, U.S.A., Women
Tags: Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, Anja Mittag, Fan Tribute Tour, Hope Solo, Jill Ellis, Lauren Cheney, Piia Sundhage