Led by two-goal efforts from midfielder Carli Lloyd and forward Christen Press, the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Russia 7-0 at FAU Stadium in the first meeting of a two-game set.
Midfielder Heather O’Reilly and forward Sydney Leroux also supplied a goal each and world goal scoring record holder Abby Wambach tallied the 164th of her career in the second half.
The U.S. WNT extended its unbeaten streak at home to 79 games (69-0-10) and extended its unbeaten streak overall to 41 games (35-0-6), dating back to March of 2012.
The USA and Russia square off again on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be live on ussoccer.com. Fans can also follow the U.S. WNT on [email protected]_wnt.
The Americans thoroughly controlled the run of play against Russia, dominating possession from the start, and opened the scoring deluge in the 29th minute.
Lloyd, who missed the USA’s 1-0 victory against Canada on Jan. 31 while serving a red card suspension, beautifully split a pair of Russia defenders on the dribble to give herself a free look at goal. She then blasted her shot past Russia goalkeeper Elvira Todua and into the upper right corner for a 1-0 lead. Lloyd was set up by O’Reilly, who terrorized the right flank before exiting the game for Florida native Erika Tymrak in the 68th minute. The assist was the 48th of O’Reilly’s career, passing Carin Gabarra for sole possession of seventh place all-time.
In the 32nd minute, O’Reilly found herself in the right place when a cross from the left deflected off of Russia left back Marina Pushkareva and ricocheted to the U.S. midfielder. O’Reilly blasted her shot into the upper right corner for a 2-0 advantage and her 38th-career goal.
With O’Reilly’s early dominance, Russia head coach Sergey Lavrentyev was forced to replace left back Pushkareva with Elena Medved after little more than 30 minutes.
The move did nothing to slow the U.S. attack, and in the 37th minute Lloyd scored one of her signature blasts from distance. After bringing down a Stephanie Cox pass from the left side with her chest, Lloyd dribbled laterally until she found some space for her world-class right foot. With a strike reminiscent of her game-winner against France at the 2012 Olympics, she drilled her shot into the upper left corner to make it 3-0 lead.
In the second half, the USA picked up right where it left off with Lloyd crossing from the left to find Press, who redirected the ball with her head past Todua in the 51st minute.
Leroux made it 5-0 just three minutes later as she thundered into the penalty area to latch on to a well-weighted slip pass from Lauren Holiday. While fighting off a defender, she lunged for the ball and cut her shot past Todua on the ground and inside left post. Holiday’s assist was the 27th of her career, passing Brandi Chastain for sole possession of 13th place on the all-time WNT assists list.
Press grabbed her second goal of the match and 10th of her young international career in the 58th minute after a corner kick bounced out to Ali Krieger at the top of the box. The right back’s shot smacked off the chest of the Russia goalkeeper and Press was first to the rebound to tap it home for a 6-0 lead.
U.S. WNT head coach Tom Sermanni replaced Leroux and Press with Amy Rodriguez and Wambach, respectively, in the 60th minute, and seven minutes later the fresh forward tandem connected for the final goal. Rodriguez supplied a nifty back heel pass to Wambach on the left side and she finished into the open net for the final margin.
Russia had to play the last 20 minutes or so with 10 players after defender Valentina Orlova took down Rodriguez on a breakaway and was shown a straight red card for being the last defender.
The seven-goal victory was the USA’s most lopsided win since a 7-0 rout of Mexico on Sept. 3, 2013, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
Want to see the USWNT take on Russia in Atlanta? Leave a comment or retweet/share on social media for your chance to win tickets to see this great match on February 12 at the Georgia Dome. Even if you aren’t a winner you can still follow Robert Ivory’s live coverage of the match here on ISN!