US women's football team beats Brazil 4-1
ORLANDO, Florida (AP)
Sydney Leroux scored twice in the first half as the U.S. women's football team completed its sixth undefeated year with a 4-1 win over Brazil in an international friendly Sunday.
Abby Wambach also scored in the first half and Erika Tymrak added the other goal for the United States.
The Americans finished the year with 13 wins and three draws. It also pushed their unbeaten streak to 38 games and 76 at home.
''Huge!'' Wambach said. ''Obviously you get that first goal, and you have momentum. And then I think we got the penalty within a couple minutes after that. That's demoralizing from the opposing team's standpoint.''
The U.S. controlled the ball and the field for much of the first half, breaking through with goals in the 15th and 17th minute. The first came when midfielder Heather O'Reilly fielded Kristie Mewis' cross and dropped it to Leroux for a shot to the lower-left corner.
A foul then set up Wambach for a penalty that Wambach drilled into the lower right corner past diving goalkeeper Thais. It was the 163rd goal for the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year, and more importantly ensured the U.S. wouldn't fall into the same trap as in the team's last outing, a 1-1 draw against New Zealand in which the team failed to convert many potential winners.
''That's been my job for I don't know how many years,'' said the 33-year-old Wambach, a leader on two Olympic championship teams. ''I've missed less than a handful (of penalty kicks). I've been taking them all week since I missed that one against New Zealand. I don't miss too many in a row.''
Brazil, which didn't get a shot until the 21st minute, got its lone goal in the 24th when Rosana took Rilany's cross and slipped it inside the left post.
The Americans pushed back to a two-goal lead in the 38th minute when Leroux dribbled the ball from well outside the penalty era, cut to the right past a defender and fired it back to the left.
Goalkeeper Hope Solo ensured the lead would stand in the second half for the Americans, making three spectacular saves in an 8-minute span as Brazil carved out a series of opportunities.
Tymrak concluded the scoring off of Lindsey Horan's assist in the 77th minute, finishing another strong year for the dominant U.S. squad.