Foxborough, Mass was a blaze this evening as the U.S. WNT defeated Korea Republic 4-1 in a thrilling game with goals scored by Kristie Mewis, Lauren Cheney, Carli Lloyd and Abby Wambach.
Boston local Kristie Mewis and Lauren Cheney opened up scoring with two back-to-back goals early on. But the second half was what really got fans jumping with Hope Solo returning to the net for her first time with the US WNT since her operation, replacing Nicole Barnhart in the 46th minute and finishing the remainder with a clean sheet.
University of Virginia Morgan Brian stepped onto the field in the last 20 minutes, a huge smile on the 20-year-old’s face as she scooped up her very first U.S. cap.
And to round out the evening, Abby Wambach delighted fans scoring the final U.S. goal and inching one step closer to Mia Hamm’s record of 158. It was Wambach’s 156th goal.
Mewis acknowledged her homecoming with a goal within the first three minutes of the first half! Sydney Leroux crossed the ball into the box and the Korean goalkeeper just managed to get a finger on it, but not before Mewis finished it off in the net.
Then, Cheney got the ball from a cheeky backheel pass from Tobin Heath in the left side of the box. She neatly placed it past the keeper to the near post, making it 2-0 for the Americans with with just seven minutes on the clock.
The Koreans were not deterred and gave the U.S. a physical and unpredictable end to the first half. The U.S. back line let their guard down for a brief second, and midfielder Cho Sohyun was left wide open and scored from 15 yards out in the 25th minute.
The halftime whistle sounded and the score stood at 2-1.
The second half got under way with the U.S. continuing to dominate the play, this was only a prelude of things to come.
Carli Lloyd broke through in the 56th minute the best way she knew how, throwing the opposition off guard with a powerful straight shot goal from 30 yards out! The Korean goalkeeper was left sitting stunned inside the net and the U.S. cushioned their lead 3-1.
The Koreans refused to back down and pushed the U.S. to the brink. They created a few chances to score, including a wide open shot at the box in the 82nd minute, but were not able to capitalize with Solo on guard.
Wambach came in for the second half and was itching for a goal, her mission to reach Mia Hamm’s golden 158 record apparently on her mind. She tried several times to score, including some signature headers, but Korean defense was impeccable, shutting down every chance.
Finally, in stoppage time, a penalty kick was awarded to the U.S. and Wambach found herself face to face with the Korean goalkeeper. It happened in slow motion, the set up, the kick, the goalkeeper scrambling for the save, and the ball hitting the net for the 4-1 finish and the U.S. win.
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Korea Republic
Date: June 15, 2013
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: 71 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 2 4
KOR 1 0 1
USA – Kristie Mewis (Sydney Leroux) 3rd minute
USA – Lauren Cheney (Tobin Heath) 7
KOR – Cho Sohyun (Jeoun Eunha) 26
USA – Carli Lloyd (Heather O’Reilly) 57
USA – Abby Wambach (penalty kick) 90+3
USA : 18-Nicole Barnhart (1-Hope Solo, 46); 3-Christie Rampone, 19-Rachel Buehler (capt.) (11-Ali Krieger, 70), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 8-Kristie Mewis; 9-Heather O’Reilly, 10-Carli Lloyd (16-Yael Averbuch, 67), 12-Lauren Cheney (25-Morgan Brian, 77), 17-Tobin Heath; 2-Sydney Leroux (20-Abby Wambach, 46), 13-Alex Morgan
Substitutions Not Used: 6-Crystal Dunn, 14-Whitney Engen
Head coach: Tom Sermanni
KOR: 1-Kim Jungmi, 4-Shim Seoyeon, 6-Lim Seonjoo, 20-Kim Hyeri (14-Kwon Hahnul, 80), 5-Lee Sejin, 8-Cho Sohyun, 15-Kim Narae (13-Lee Mina, 71), 17-Park Heeyoung (22-Lee Jungeun, 62; 3-Jeong Younga, 87), 10-Ji Soyun, 12-Yoo Younga (2-Kim Jihye, 90), 18-Jeoun Eunha (16-Kim Sangeun, 54)
Substitutions Not Used: 19-Shin Jiyoung, 21-Yoon Younggeul
Head coach: Yoon Dukyeo
Stats Summary: USA / KOR
Shots: 21 / 8
Shots on Goal: 13 / 4
Saves: 3 / 8
Corner Kicks: 7 / 2
Fouls: 3 / 12
Offside: 4 / 1