The USA's Carli Lloyd (#10) and Wendy Acosta of visiting Costa Rica battle for possession during their international friendly on August 19, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tennessesse. (Photo: Brad Smith/isisphotos.com)
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee – The United States women’s national team completed its sweep of a two-game friendly series with Costa Rica, posting a 7-2 win over on Wednesday night in front of a capacity crowd of 20,535 at rain-soaked Finley Stadium.
Carli Lloyd and Heather O’Reilly each netted a brace within the opening 23 minutes for the World Cup champion, which also defeated the Ticas 8-0 in Pittsburgh on August 16.
Lloyd opened the scoring in the seventh minute off a free kick from 31-yards out that deflected off Costa Rica’s Diana Sanez in the wall and the underside of the crossbar at the upper left corner, before crossing the line.
Six minutes later, Lloyd fired a right-footed shot from 20 yards that forced goalkeeper Dinnia Diaz into a diving save. The rebound popped out to the edge of the six-yard box, where O’Reilly raced to slot it home to double the advantage.
An 83-minute lightning delay followed, but after the action resumed, Abby Wambach made it 3-0 in the 18th minute. From the inside the box, Lloyd crossed to the left for Lori Chalupny, who laid off the ball for Wambach. The 35-year-old forward found the back of the net from 12-yards out with her left foot.
The U.S. then went on a scoring binge, putting three past Diaz in just 11 minutes. Lloyd (20’) volleyed in Meghan Rapinoe’s corner kick from close range, O’Reilly (23’) headed a Wambach cross and Costa Rica’s Katherine Alvarado (31’) inadvertently directed another corner into her own net.
With the score at 6-0, the Costa Ricans made history in the 41st minute as Cristin Granados notched their first-ever goal against the U.S. in 12 matches. Carolina Venegas started the play with a move to get around Tobin Heath near the end line and then played the ball back for Granados to first-time beyond goalkeeper Hope Solo.
Following the break, Costa Rica struck again in the 69th minute through Karla Villalobos, who bent a 69th minute effort around substitute goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher into the upper-right corner.
Alex Morgan put the finishing touches on the victory, chesting in a cross from Amy Rodriguez with nine minutes remaining in normal time.
The U.S. returns to action on September 17, when it hosts Australia in Detroit, Michigan.
Women’s International Friendly
August 19, 2015: Finley Stadium – Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
USA 7 (Carli Lloyd 7’, 20’; Heather O’Reilly 13’, 23’; Abby Wambach 18’; own-goal in favor of, Katherine Alvarado 31’; Alex Morgan 81’)
Costa Rica 2 (Cristin Granados 41’; Karla Villalobos 69’)
USA: Hope Solo (Alyssa Naeher 46’); Kelley O’Hara, Whitney Engen, Becky Sauerbrunn, Lori Chalupny, Heather O’Reilly (Amy Rodriguez 46’), Lauren Holiday, Tobin Heath (Shannon Boxx 64’), Megan Rapinoe (Meghan Klingenberg 46’), Carli Lloyd (Christen Press 46’), Abby Wambach (Alex Morgan 56’). Head Coach: Jill Ellis
Costa Rica: Dinnia Diaz (Yolian Salas 78’); Fabiola Villalobos (Gabriela Guillen 67), Diana Saenz, Wendy Acosta, Mariana Benavides (Maria Paula Coto 86’), Maria Paula Elizondo (Daniela Cruz 63’), Katherine Alvarado, Cristin Granados, Melissa Herrera, Carolina Venegas, Karla Villalobos (Mayra Almazan 74). Head Coach: Amelia Valverde
R: Margaret Domka (USA); AR 1: Amanda Ross (USA); AR 2: Marie-Han Gagnon-Chretien (USA); 4th: Tori Penso (USA)