With a sold out Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX the energy in the air was surging, especially on the pitch tonight as the U.S. WNT and Canada clashed with the U.S. taking the 1-0 win for their first match of the year.
The game was incredibly physical and the U.S. had to dig deep and get creative to find the back of the net. One goal made all the difference and it was scored by Canada native Sydney Leroux to render the win.
The first 45 minutes passed quickly with no goals, but a plethora of close calls for both sides. The U.S. kept possession and created the most chances but Canada’s back line could not be broken and with forward Christine Sinclair lurking near the U.S. box, the Canadians some released some deadly shots as well to keep the U.S. on their toes.
Towards the end of the half the tension between both sides thickened as the Americans were subjected to a few nasty tumbles resulting in yellow cards for Canada and free kicks for the U.S. Young midfielder Morgan Brian, who started for her first time with the team, was pegged in the thigh from behind, smacking the ground hard, but jumping back up nonetheless.
The second half mirrored the first as the crowded stadium roared in earnest for a goal. The U.S. continued to dominate possession but Canada stayed hot on their heels with superb defending, especially from goalkeeper Erin McLeod, who batted away shots left and right.
Finally, in the 78th minute the U.S. were able to break the deadlock with a carefully orchestrated play. Defender Becky Sauerbrunn charged to the right side of the box, crossing to forward Christen Press inside. Press sent it right back to Sauerbrunn to fake out the goalkeeper. Sauerbrunn lobbed the ball quickly and Leroux connected, knocking it into the empty net from close range for the hard earned 1-0 win.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
CAN 0 0 0
USA – Sydney Leroux (Becky Sauerbrunn) 78th minute
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Whitney Engen (3-Christie Rampone, 77), 14-Stephanie Cox; 9-Heather O’Reilly, 25-Morgan Brian, 12-Lauren Holiday, 15-Megan Rapinoe (8-Amy Rodriguez, 88); 2-Sydney Leroux, 20-Abby Wambach (capt.) (23-Christen Press, 74)
Substitutions Not Used: 7-Crystal Dunn, 19-Kristie Mewis, 21-Jill Loyden, 22-Julie Johnston
Head coach: Tom Sermanni
CAN: 1-Erin McLeod; 7-Rhian Wilkinson (3-Sura Yekka, 74), 14-Kadeisha Buchanan, 10-Lauren Sesselmann, 20-Marie-Éve Nault (4-Carmelina Moscato, 81); 8-Diana Matheson (16-Jonelle Filigno, 86), 11-Desiree Scott, 13-Sophie Schmidt; 9-Josée Bélanger (17-Brittany Baxter, 71), 12-Christine Sinclair (capt.), 19-Adriana Leon (6-Kaylyn Kyle, 61)
Substitutions Not Used: 21-Stephanie Labbe, 33-Karina LeBlanc, 2-Emily Zurrer
Head coach: John Herdman
Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 15 / 7
Shots on Goal: 6 / 1
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 3 / 16
Offside: 3 / 0
CAN – Josée Bélanger 29th minute
CAN – Kaseisha Buchanan 33
CAN –Lauren Sesselmann 38