The USA's Christen Press (#23) battles for possession against Caroline Abbe of Switzerland in a women's international friendly on August 20, 2014, at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina. (Photo: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)
CARY, North Carolina – The United States scored twice on second-half penalties to defeat Switzerland 4-1 in an international friendly on Wednesday before a sold-out crowd of 9,992 at WakeMed Soccer Park.
The game was part of the Americans’ preparations for the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, which will be played in the U.S., October 15-26, and will decide berths for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Megan Rapinoe’s slightly deflected effort from 22-yards out gave the host a 1-0 lead in the third minute off an assist from Sydney Leroux.
Carli Lloyd doubled the advantage in the 56th minute, converting a penalty kick after a cross from the left side of the box by Rapinoe hit the hand of Switzerland’s Fabienne Humm.
The Swiss jumped back into the match 14 minutes later as Rapinoe was whistled for a handball in the area and Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic netted from the spot.
In the 70th minute, the U.S. went ahead once again by two goals. A free kick by Christie Rampone, who was making her 295th international appearance, was weakly cleared by the Switzerland defense. Christen Press chest-trapped the ball and drilled a right-footed shot from 25-yards out that crossed the line after ricocheting off the crossbar.
Abby Wambach punctuated the scoreline with an 87th minute penalty kick for her 168th career goal.
The U.S. will return to action on September 13 against Mexico at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.