October 20, 2012
TIED AT TOYOTA
Wambach scores as U.S. draws with Germany
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - Abby Wambach scored her 147th career goal just two minutes into the game, but Germany came back to tie it just twelve minutes later as the number one and two teams in the world played to a 1-1 draw in front of a sellout crowd of 19,522 at Toyota Park Saturday.
|Abby Wambach gave the U.S. an early lead with her 147th career goal
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The game was the first for the United States without head coach Pia Sundhage, who stepped down to take over the national team of her native Sweden.
The USA needed only 1 minute and 47 seconds to strike first when Wambach scored from close range as she slid to tap in Alex Morgan's team-leading 16th assist for a 1-0 lead. The goal was created when Tobin Heath won the ball from Germany right back Bianca Schmidt and fed to Lauren Cheney in the middle. She found Morgan on the left side and the speedy U.S. striker sent a hard service across the goal box toward the far right post. Wambach held her run just enough to stay onside before slipping behind the defense to knock home her 22nd goal of 2012.
"Fantastic crowd and an educated crowd. They never stopped throughout the entire game," Wambach said. "This is what it's about. Since the Olympics we've come home to mostly sold-out stadiums. To me, this is what it's about. We want to come and win and show the crowd what we can do, but more importantly it's about the experience and the environment that the crowd creates. ... It proves to me what we've accomplished."
Germany's Anja Mittag responded with a 14th-minute equalizer - a beautiful left-footed strike into the far right corner that just sailed over U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo's outstretched glove. Mittag ran onto a one-touch assist from Simone Laudehr, who worked herself free from the USA defense in the middle of the field.
The U.S. caught a big break in the 24th minute after Linda Bresonik got free behind the defense on the right side and rolled a pass to the wide-open Laudehr. The German midfielder had an open look at goal from just over six yards away, but sliced her shot just wide left of the post.
The USA nearly created a go-ahead goal just before halftime when Morgan raced down the right side and cross back into the middle to Cheney, who smashed her right-footed volley just wide of the right post.
Solo made a huge save to keep the score level in the 64th minute with a diving stop on Mittag's shot after she ran onto a great pass the was slipped up the middle into the penalty area. Solo dove to her right to push away the driven shot and Germany's follow-up attempt from Dzsenifer Marozsan missed the frame high.
Second-half sub Heather O'Reilly had one of the USA's best scoring chances of the second half in the 75th minute when she hit a bending left-footed shot from a little more than 20 yards out that went just over the crossbar and hit the top netting.
Solo and Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer each had one save in the match.
The two teams return to the field on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET, with a live broadcast on the NBC Sports Network. Fans can also follow the match via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.