The Americans got a pair of first-half goals from Abby Wambach to lead the U.S. past Ireland, 3-0, at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif., in the first of three World Cup tune-up matches.
With scoring opportunities in first half limited by a defensive minded Irish team, the U.S. dominated possession and took 14 shots before finding the back of the net twice in the closing minutes. The U.S. tallied their first of two corner kick goals in the 42nd minute when they took advantage of a clearance off the face of an Irish defender on the far post. With the ball rattling around in the box, Chicago Red Stars forward Christen Press found Wambach in the middle of the box for the 1-0 lead.
The Americans took little time to add to their lead. Three minutes later, they doubled the score as a result of Wambach’s 180th career goal. After a through ball from Megan Rapinoe, Houston Dash midfielder Carli Lloyd cut the ball up the field before finding Wambach for a signature header.
Johnston tacked on the second set-piece goal off a corner kick from Lauren Holiday in the 54th minute. The Chicago defender was left unmarked at the near post and flicked a shot past goalkeeper Niamh Reid-Burke. It was a play that was remarkably similar to one in the first half that was nabbed by the Irish keeper. It was the third straight match with a goal for Johnston. All three have come off of set pieces.
Despite a 26-0 shot advantage, the Americans showed a need for improvement in the attacking third. After settling for crosses that couldn’t find the starting duo of Wambach and Amy Rodriguez, it was Press pushing the pace that got inside the Irish defense and created viable scoring chances.
Notes: The United States were playing without the services of Alex Morgan (left knee bone bruise) and Tobin Heath (mild hamstring strain) who were both held out for precautionary reasons. Both will likely be held out when the U.S. faces Mexico on May 17. … Rapinoe was honored for her 100th cap that she earned in last month’s meeting with New Zealand. The U.S. usually gives the players a watch for their 100th cap, but Rapinoe asked that a donation be made to the charity iACT. … Lori Chalupny’s second-half appearance gave the St. Louis native her 100th cap.
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Republic of Ireland
Date: May 10, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Avaya Stadium; San Jose, California
Kickoff: 11:30 a.m. PT
Attendance: 18,000 (sellout)
Weather: 61 degrees: Partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 1 3
IRL 0 0 0
USA – Abby Wambach (Christen Press) 42′
USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd) 45′
USA – Julie Johnston (Lauren Holiday) 54′
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (16-Lori Chalupny, 46), 19-Julie Johnston, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 22-Meghan Klingenberg (5-Kelley O’Hara, 61); 23-Christen Press, 12-Lauren Holiday (9-Heather O’Reilly, 61), 10-Carli Lloyd (7-Shannon Boxx, 78), 15-Megan Rapinoe (capt.) (14-Morgan Brian, 46); 8-Amy Rodriguez (2-Sydney Leroux, 46), 20-Abby Wambach
Subs Not Used: 18-Ashlyn Harris, 24-Alyssa Naeher, 3-Christie Rampone, 6-Whitney Engen, 13-Alex Morgan, 17-Tobin Heath
Head coach: Jill Ellis
IRL: 16-Niamh Reid-Burke; 17-Aine O’Gorman (capt.), 20-Jessica Gleeson (5-Ciara Grant, 46), 3-Megan Campbell, 6-Meabh De Burca; 11-Julie Ann Russell (12-Ciara Rossiter, 84), 4-Karen Duggan, 19-Fiona O’Sullivan (14-Katie McCabe, 73), 8-Ruesha Littlejohn, 10-Denise O’Sullivan; 9-Stephanie Roche (15-Nicola Sinnot, 90+3)
Subs Not Used: 21-Charlotte McCormack, 7-Emma Hansberry, 18-Emma Beckett
Head coach: Sue Ronan
Stats Summary: USA / IRL
Shots: 26 / 0
Shots on Goal: 10 / 0
Saves: 0 / 7
Corner Kicks: 19 / 0
Fouls: 9 / 12
Offside: 4 / 0
IRL – Aine O’Gorman (caution) 19th minute
Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Veronica Perez (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Amanda Ross (USA)
4th Official: Christina Unkel (USA)