Alex Morgan helps US defeat Sweden
Abby Wambach’s 136th career goal for the US women’s team led the Americans past Sweden 3-1 Saturday in a tune-up for the London Olympics.
Wambach connected just 8 minutes in, then Alex Morgan scored in the 22nd. Sweden’s Lotta Schelin scored in the 35th minute, and substitute Tobin Heath sealed the game with a header 11 minutes into the second half.
Wambach’s goal came off a punt from goalkeeper Hope Solo. Heather O’Reilly won the ball in the air, nodding it to Wambach. She turned on a defender and her half-volley from 35 yards caught keeper Hedvig Lindahl out of her goal.
”It was a good experience for us, playing the third-best team in the world and scoring three goals,” US coach Pia Sundhage said. ”I am very happy that Abby and Alex, our goal scorers, each scored a goal, and that Tobin Heath came off the bench to score.
"Part of the game was pretty good, and we are taking another step closer to the Olympics. We are seeing the start of our run to the Olympics and we are happy with the 90 minutes we played today.”
The US team will have one day of rest before facing Japan on Monday. The Japanese beat the Americans for the World Cup title last year.
In the 22nd minute, Morgan raced past a defender to gather a pass from Shannon Boxx and send a right-footed shot into the lower left corner from 13 yards as she fell to the turf. The goal was Morgan’s team-leading 15th of the year.
Schelin and Sweden captain Nilla Fischer played a give-and-go near the top of the penalty area on the left side. US defender Rachel Buehler got a piece of Fischer’s return pass, but not enough to stop the scoring chance. Schelin caught Solo charging out of her goal to lift a shot into the right corner.
Wambach, usually on the end of crosses for header goals, played provider on Heath’s score with a perfect looping cross. Heath got inside her defender at the far post and calmly bounced her header home 7 yards.
United States: Hope Solo, Heather Mitts, Christie Rampone (Becky Sauerbrunn, 46), Rachel Buehler, Amy LePeilbet; Heather O’Reilly (Tobin Heath, 46), Shannon Boxx (Carli Lloyd, 46), Lauren Cheney, Megan Rapinoe (Amy Rodriguez, 63), Alex Morgan (Sydney Leroux, 74), Abby Wambach.
Sweden: Hedvig Lindahl; Emma Berglund, Stina Segerström (Malin Levenstad, 66), Annica Svensson, Caroline Seger (Jessica Landstrom, 90), Sara Thunebro, Lotta Schelin (Madelaine Edlund, 72), Lisa Dahlkvist, Nilla Fischer (Johanna Almgren, 72), Antonia Göransson (Marie Hammarström, 53), Sofia Jakobsson (Kosovare Asllani, 52).