USWNT 4, Mexico 0: Vigor, Vengeance, Victory

By Gavin Day

 

The United States Women’s National Team was at its overwhelming best as it pummelled rivals Mexico 4-0. As a result, the team is just one win away from the 2012 London Olympics.

Midfielder Carli Lloyd recorded her first career hat-trick for the U.S. and Heather O’Reilly added another to bring the American goal total to an astonishing 31 scored and none conceded. With the emphatic victory, the United States face a much easier semi-finals match-up against Costa Rica. Group A winners Canada will face Mexico.

“It was redemption for us,” said Lloyd referring to Mexico’s 2-1 upset win over the U.S. in their last competitive match in qualifying for last summer’s World Cup. “We came out strong and knew we had to get it done. There’s no second chances for Olympic qualifying so we made sure that we got into the semi-finals and the semi-final is going to be the big one.”

Lloyd dedicated the win and her hat-trick to teammate Ali Krieger who was knocked out of the tournament and possibly the Olympics with a torn ACL and MCL in her right knee.

Playing in front of a largely pro-Mexican crowd, the U.S. pressed early and came close a few times within the first opening minutes. Their pressure paid off in the seventh minute when Lloyd headed a ball to Rachel Buehler, who was starting at right back. Buehler’s close range effort came back off the post but floated back to Lloyd who headed into a largely unprotected goal.

The game was all but over just a minute later. Mexico’s 17-year old goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago made a mess of Amy Rodriguez’ cross from the left side. After Santiago mishandled the ball, O’Reilly followed the play in well to bang the ball home from close range and the U.S. was cruising.

“They are just the best, simple as that. They’re the best team in the world,” said Mexico head coach Leonardo Cuellar after the game.

Though their team was down by two goals, the largely partisan Mexican crowd continued to make noise to try to will their team back into the game but on this night, the Americans just couldn’t be stopped by their neighbors to the south.

Lloyd got her second in the 57th minute. Lauren Cheney floated in an inch perfect cross and Lloyd timed her jump perfectly to head home from in close at the far post.

She rounded off her hat-trick with four minutes left to play off another set piece. Substitute Megan Rapinoe’s corner kick was redirected by Buehler and into Lloyd’s path and she couldn’t miss from close range.

“Well I’m very happy about our four goals and especially Carli Lloyd– the way she was the end product of set pieces.” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “So we did well with set pieces.”

The victory sets up a winner take all semi-final against Group A runners-up Costa Rica on Friday. Should the Americans win as expected, they will book their tickets to the 2012 London Olympics.

 

Post-match comments:

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16 thoughts on “USWNT 4, Mexico 0: Vigor, Vengeance, Victory

  1. Anna

    To add to the V list: Very dubious reffing. There were a lot of challenges last night that just went uncalled or unnoticed, not least of which was Amy LePeilbet getting full on punched in the face.

    Reply
    1. cambridge_footie

      I know! A Right hook. That was crazy!

      But Amy can play with a black eye. It was the foul on Saurerbrunn that really needs to be looked at. That challenge could have had her sitting on the sidelines with Kreiger. Hopefully the team can escape the rest of the tournament intact.

      Reply
  2. necron99

    Yes, It reminded me of a China or N. Korea vs USWNT game from the late 90s early 2000s. When they decided the way to stop Mia Hamm was to thug her out of the game. There was a lot of rough play without fouls called for it.

    Reply
  3. Bronco Billy

    Starting Arod instead of Rapinoe and then bringing in Leroux instead of Morgan…makes one wonder what Pia sees… No way Arod or Leroux should even be on the team. Hopefully the Olympics will be the end of Pia and we will get either Waldrum or the Philadelphia coach.

    Reply
  4. Larry

    While we can exult that we are one game from the Olympics, we are also one game from watching it on the Telly.

    No second chance against Italy this time…

    Reply
  5. Quick as a Flash

    TV Analysis

    Am I the only one who thought Brandi Chastain’s analysis of both teams was excellent. Wish FSC would pick her up.

    If you love the beautiful game you have to go with Rapinoe. However my concern for the Olympics is the back 4. Starting 4 centerbacks is very likely to expose us eventually. It will make for a very exciting Olympic Tournament with the US only a slight favorite. Of course if ratings are critical (and they are) this is good news.

    Reply
    1. goaleemama

      We watched the CONCACAF free video streaming, which is the only way we had of watching of this – we would have LOVED to hear Brandi Chastain’s analysis…

      Reply
    2. uswntFan

      If you love the beautiful game you have to go with Rapinoe. yesssss,

      why does buehler clear the ball by kicking it in front of the goal? defense 101?

      Reply
  6. Katie

    I want to see Morgan and Leroux play together more. That is the future. Also, I saw nothing from Leroux against Mexico that made me think she should play over Morgan. Is Pia’s memory that short? I mean France and Japan. She makes things happen.

    Reply
    1. uswntFan

      same thoughts on rapinoe’s tiny bit of playing time. and arod starting on the left wing, or heath? does pia have no memory?

      Reply
  7. cow pasture alum

    Was the pro-Mexican contingent in the crowd mostly Canadian? I don’t believe that Vancouver has a large Latino community, and I doubt that many Mexican fans made the trip.

    Reply
    1. h

      No, we don’t really have a large Latino community and I didn’t get the sense that they made the trip up. My guess is that the locals did a very good job getting numbers out from within their (relatively) small community. And of course they are LOUD!

      Reply
      1. cow pasture alum

        I thought it simply may have been the non-Latino (Scottish/Asian/whatever) locals rooting for the underdog.

        Reply
  8. VaFan

    I am bit surprised there is still a buzzing controversy about whether Solo should play tonight against Costa Rica. Barnhart is a very solid keeper and it seems to make so much sense to not have a hobbled Solo out there, risking a longer-term injury.

    Reply

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