Leroux leads USWNT past Brazil
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)
Sydney Leroux scored twice in the first half and the U.S. women's soccer team completed its sixth undefeated year with a 4-1 exhibition victory over Brazil on Sunday at the Citrus Bowl.
Abby Wambach also scored in the first half, Erika Tymrak added a goal, and goalkeeper Hope Solo made a series of diving saves in the second half.
The victory in front of the team's biggest crowd of the year at 20,274, gave the U.S. a 13-0-3 mark this year. It also pushed the Americans' unbeaten streak to 38 - and 76 at home.
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's cross and dropped it to Leroux for a shot to the lower-left corner.
A foul then set up Wambach for a penalty kick that America's career goals leader 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 tie against New Zealand in which the team failed to convert many potential winners.
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.
Solo ensured the lead would stand up in the second half for the Americans, making three spectacular saves in an 8-minute span as Brazil carved out a series of breakaway opportunities. Solo made diving saves on 1-on-1 opportunities, two by Raquel and another by Rosana.
Tymrak concluded the scoring off of Lindsey Horan's assist in the 77th minute.