The U.S. WNT captured their 37th straight victory this afternoon at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, CA, defeating New Zealand 4-1.
Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Christen Press produced goals in the first half with the Kiwis adding one early in the second and Heather O’Reilly finishing things off with a final goal.
The U.S. eased through the first half, opening scoring early on with Rapinoe and closing the half with a 23 yard stunning shot from Press. Possession was kept on the U.S. side for the majority of the game, leaving New Zealand to challenge them defensively.
The game was only six minutes in when Rapinoe delivered a free kick that saw nothing but net. She blasted the ball over the wall and New Zealand’s goalkeeper could do nothing but watch as it sailed over her head.
Five minutes later Lloyd stretched that lead as she raced towards the goal, zipping past the opposition into the box and firing from close range to settle at 2-0.
New Zealand’s defense tightened their grip, but were unable to escape the remainder of the half without a last minute goal from Press. It was a team effort, as Heather O’Reilly helped thread the ball through the opposition. A defender was able to knock it away from O’Reilly, but it found Press’ foot instead. She struck a deadly low shot that hit the left corner to up the U.S. lead 3-0 before the whistle.
The Kiwis charged into the second half looking aggressive as ever, and forward Hannah Wilkinson looking quite dangerous, eagerly creating chances; searching for a goal.
In the 53rd minute her perseverance was rewarded, as she went one on one with U.S. goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart. She took a close range shot but Barnhart deftly deflected it. Wilkinson pounced on the rebound and Barnhart couldn’t react fast enough as Wilkinson returned the ball right back into the net.
The U.S. countered back after that, raining shots on the New Zealand net, but the goalkeeper dutifully kept the ball out. Both sides began to get feisty and physical as the minutes ticked down in a battle for who would score next.
In the 86th minute, it looked like it all might be over, but O’Reilly had something more to add. She collected a pass from Press and sent a left footed shot curling into the left post to finish the game 4-1.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 3 1 4
NZL 0 1 1
USA – Megan Rapinoe 7th minute
USA – Carli Lloyd 12
USA – Christen Press 42
NZL – Hannah Wilkinson 54
USA – Heather O’Reilly (Christen Press) 87
USA: 1-Hope Solo (18-Nicole Barnhart, 46); 11-Ali Krieger, 16-Rachel Buehler, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (3-Christie Rampone, 73), 22-Meghan Klingenberg; 9-Heather O’Reilly, 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Lauren Holiday (8-Kristie Mewis, 80), 15-Megan Rapinoe (2-Sydney Leroux, 80); 23-Christen Press, 20-Abby Wambach (capt.)
Substitutions Not Used: 7-Yael Averbuch, 14-Whitney Engen, 26-Leigh Ann Robinson
Head coach: Tom Sermanni
NZL: 21-Erin Nayler; 5-Abby Erceg (capt.), 2-Ria Percival, 7-Ali Riley, 15-Rebekah Stott; 12-Betsy Hassett (11-Kirsty Yallop, 60), 4-Katie Hoyle, 16-Annalie Longo; 10-Sarah Gregorius (13-Rosie White, 79), 9-Amber Hearn, 17-Hannah Wilkinson (20-Hellen Collins, 75)
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Jenny Bindon, 3-Anna Green, 6-Meikayla Moore, 14-Elizabeth Milne, 18-Megan Lee, 19-Stephanie Skilton
Head coach: Tony Readings
Stats Summary: USA / NZL
Shots: 17 / 7
Shots on Goal: 6 / 5
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 10 / 8
Offside: 0 / 2