CARSON, Calif -- The United States women defeated Australia 2-1 in an International Friendly at The Home Depot Center. It was 80 degrees and sunny for the noon kickoff, and that combined with the match being a friendly created a sloppy, slow paced match. Still the 19,851 in attendance were able to go home happy, the largest Southern California crowd to see the US women’s team play in nine years.
Alex Morgan almost singlehandedly got the US on the board, first with an equalizer in the fifty-fifth minute, then earning a penalty kick in the 61’. Morgan, who grew up in Diamond Bar, California before going to the University of California, Berkeley, was the crowd favorite as the local kid.
Morgan got her first goal by collecting a roller from Heather O’Reilly in the penalty area. She stopped to create space between her and her defender then sent up a rocket with her left foot.
The penalty was earned when Australia’s goalkeeper took out Morgan who was beating the backline into the box. Shannon Box stepped up to take the penalty and placed it inside the top right corner.
Australia got the opening goal with a Lisa de Vanna goal in the thirty-fourth minute. The forward made a strong run down the left side holding off her marker, then nestled her shot inside the top far corner.
Hope Solo was kept active in the first half, having to handle three shots on goal. The US also managed three shots on goal but all right at Australia’s keeper. The sense of urgency just wasn’t there. Things improved in the second half greatly on both sides of the ball for the US.
Seemingly awoken after their lackluster first half, the US had four shots on goal in the second half and didn't gave up one attempt in the second half. Australia, who had benefited from the US being slow to close players down, wasn’t able to keep possession after the US started pressing again.