Match report: USA 2 - Canada 1
Women's National Team/Olympic Team 30 June 2012
Canada scored an own goal, a goal that didn't count, and a goal that should make the highlight reels in the months leading up to the London 2012 Olympics
. Unfortunately, it was an 85th minute goal by American Amy Rodriguez that decided the result in Saturday's Women's International Friendly match at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT, USA.
Canada ultimately fell 1:2 to host USA in the 30 June 2012 match, a last North American test for both teams before they travel to Europe for the Women's Olympic Football Tournament in the United Kingdom. Melissa Tancredi scored the lone goal for Canada; Diana Matheson was selected Canada's player of the match.
From the view of a television replay, the ball crossed the line in the 47th minute after Kaylyn Kyle took a second kick at the all-but-smothered ball that American goalkeeper Hope Solo tried to keep in her arms. Solo instantly pulled the ball back over the line with the officials none the wiser, a recorded save despite Kyle's immediate protest.
The play had started with Christine Sinclair firing a shot from just outside the box that deflected off an American defender. The deflection caught Solo moving in the wrong direction, but she was still quick enough to change direction and make a diving save. Solo jumped on the rebound that was rolling towards the left post, but Kyle was just as quick with a couple of cracks at what could have been a first-half equaliser.
In what turned out to be an eventful three minutes of added time at the end of the first half, USA's Alex Morgan nearly made it 2-0 just a minute later with a crack of her own from just inside the box. Morgan beat two defenders and Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod, but not defender Lauren Sesselmann who stood tall to make the save on the Canadian line.
The only recorded goal from the first half was scored in the 15th minute after an errant deflection by defender Carmelina Moscato. USA's Megan Rapinoe fired the shot from the right side, hitting Moscato who miscleared it into her own goal.
In the second half, Tancredi scored her 18th international goal after she was given a chance to go one-on-one with goalkeeper Solo down the left side. Tancredi made no mistake to equalise with a blast that hit the crossbar above Solo's reach and fell into the net for a 1-1 scoreline in the 57th minute. Matheson started the play by winning a challenge in the midfield, then played give-and-go with Sinclair who raced into the middle before delivering a wonderful pass on the run to Tancredi on the left.
The match was five minutes away from full time when Rodriguez scored the winning goal on a bouncing play in the Canadian box. An initial Rapinoe shot was deflected off the Canadian defence, after which American Abby Wambach quickly backheeled it towards the net. The ball hit Canada's defence again, but Rodriguez was on the spot to steal the ball and fire it into an unguarded net.
For this match, Canada's starting XI featured Erin McLeod in goal, Rhian Wilkinson at right back, Emily Zurrer and Carmelina Moscato at centre back, Lauren Sesselmann at left back, and Kaylyn Kyle, Diana Matheson, Desiree Scott, Sophie Schmidt, Brittany Timko and Christine Sinclair from the midfield up through to the attack.
In the second half, head coach John Herdman replaced Zurrer with Candace Chapman (46'), Timko with Melissa Tancredi (46'), Schmidt with Jonelle Filigno (65'), Wilkinson with Robyn Gayle (71'), Sesselmann with Chelsea Stewart (86'), and Scott with Marie-Eve Nault (86').
The American starting XI featured Hope Solo in goal, Amy LePeilbet, Rachel Buehler, Christie Rampone and Kelley O'Hara at defence, Megan Rapinoe, Shannon Boxx, Lauren Cheney and Tobin Heath in midfield, and Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach up front.
In the second half, head coach Pia Sundhage replaced LePeilbet with Heather Mitts (46'), Rampone with Becky Sauerbrunn (46'), Boxx with Carli Lloyd (46'), Heath with Heather O'Reilly (46'), Morgan with Amy Rodriguez (51'), O'Hara with Sydney Leroux (76').
Canada and USA are two of 12 teams competing in the London 2012 Women's Olympic Football Tournament, which runs 25 July to 9 August. Following the Saturday match, Canada will make its pre-London home in Switzerland while USA will make its pre-London home in Scotland.
The 30 June 2012 match was played in front of 16,805 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium, home of Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer. The match, which kicked off at noon local time, was played in 32 degrees Celsius heat.