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World Cup Champions U.S. Women’s National Team continued its Victory Tour with a 3-1 victory against Brazil at the Orlando Citrus Bowl in front of 32, 869 fans, the largest stand-alone crowd to watch a USA women’s friendly in the state of Florida.
Defender Lori Chalupny and midfielder Lauren Holiday played in their final match for the USWNT and were honored before the game. Both are World Cup and Olympic champions and retire as two of the most successful players to put on the USA jersey, earning 106 and 133 caps, respectively.
It was a fast-paced, end-to-end match that saw Brazil control the play for significant parts of the game, but the Americans finished their chances to defeat Brazil for the first time in the last four meetings (one loss, two ties and a win). Both teams created early chances, but unlike their last meeting four days ago – a 1-1 tie in Seattle – it was the United States that got on the scoreboard first. In the ninth minute, Alex Morgan (pictured above) received a perfect through pass from Tobin Heath on the left side, ran past the defense, rounded the goalkeeper and slotted it home.
Nearing the end of the first half regulation time, Brazil earned a deserved equalizer when Cristiane received a nice slip pass from Marta in the right side of the penalty box. She cut back inside to beat a defender and hit a powerful left-footed shot from just inside the penalty box that flew straight to the left corner.
The USA mounted an immediate response and went ahead three minutes later when a point-blank header from Lindsey Horan was blocked by Brazil goalkeeper Luciana but rebounded to Crystal Dunn who finished through traffic with her right foot to regain the lead just before halftime.
Stephanie McCaffrey (pictured above), who was making her USWNT debut, added the final goal in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage, volleying home a perfect Megan Rapinoe cross from the left side for the final score line. Hope Solo was once again solid in goal for the USA, making two saves while dominating the penalty box against a talented Brazilian attack.
With the win, the WNT extended its unbeaten home streak to 102 games (89-0-13). The last loss at home came to Denmark on Nov. 6, 2004, in Philadelphia.
The USWNT will resume its Victory Tour in December when it takes on Trinidad & Tobago on Dec. 6 in Hawaii and on Dec. 10 in San Antonio, Texas. The team will then face China PR in Glendale, Arizona on Dec. 13 and again in New Orleans on Dec. 16.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Alex Morgan (Tobin Heath), 9th minute. Tobin Heath found some space down the left sideline and timed her pass perfectly to Alex Morgan, who made a precisely timed run to beat the Brazil back line. Morgan outran her defenders and then beat Brazil goalkeeper Luciana to the left before rolling the ball into and open net for her 55th career goal. USA 1, BRA 0.
BRA – Cristiane (Marta), 45th minute: Marta found Cristiane with a nice slip pass into the box on the left side and Cristiane did the rest, cutting back to lose a U.S. defender before ripping a left-footed shot into the left corner. USA 1, BRA 1.
USA – Crystal Dunn (Lindsey Horan), 45+3: After Brazil had found the equalizer right before the 45-minute mark the USA answered back three minutes into stoppage as Meghan Klingenberg crossed a ball to the far post where Lindsey Horan headed it on goal. Luciana was able to block the point-blank attempt, but it rebounded back Crystal Dunn who finished with a right-footed strike from close range. USA 2, BRA 1.
USA – Stephanie McCaffrey (Megan Rapinoe), 90+4: Just before the final whistle blew as the USA was killing off the game, Megan Rapinoe worked her way free on the left flank and crossed it to Stephanie McCaffrey who was able to re-direct the ball into the net at the back post to make it 3-1. It was McCaffrey’s first career goal on her debut with the USWNT. USA 3, BRA 1, FINAL.
Next on the Schedule: The WNT will continue its Victory Tour with the final four games in December, making stops in Hawaii on Dec. 6, and San Antonio, Texas on Dec. 10. The team will then face Trinidad & Tobago in Glendale, Arizona on Dec. 13, and New Orleans on Dec. 16 to face China PR.
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (30-Gina Lewandowski, 74), 27-Emily Sonnett, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 16-Lori Chalupny (22-Meghan Klingenberg, 21); 25-Crystal Dunn (15-Megan Rapinoe, 60), 12-Lauren Holiday (capt.) (10-Carli Lloyd, 56), 14-Morgan Brian, 17-Tobin Heath (28-Stephanie McCaffrey, 46); 31-Lindsey Horan (8-Amy Rodriguez, 80), 13-Alex Morgan
Subs Not Used: 2-Sydney Leroux, 3-Christie Rampone, 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Whitney Engen, 7-Shannon Boxx, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 19-Julie Johnston, 20-Abby Wambach, 21-Alyssa Naeher, 23-Christen Press, 29-Samantha Mewis
Head coach: Jill Ellis
BRA: 1-Luciana; 2-Fabiana, 4-Rafaelle, 5-Andressinha, 6-Tamires (7-Beatriz, 71), 8-Thaisa, 9-Andressa Alves, 10-Marta (capt.), 11-Cristiane, 14-Erika, 20-Formiga (17-Gabi Zanotti, 63)
Subs Not Used: 3-Monica, 12-Andreia, 13-Poliana, 15-Rilany, 16-Rafaela, 18-Bia Vaz, 19-Raquel
Head coach: Oswaldo Alvarez
More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com