[USA-NEW ZEALAND] The USA got goals from Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Christen Press in the first half and then cruised to a 4-1 win over New Zealand -- its seventh win in a row -- in their women's friendly Sunday before 16,315 fans on a cold and gray Sunday afternoon at Candlestick Park.
Rapinoe, making her first U.S. appearance since June, scored on a free kick in the seventh minute, Lloyd added a second goal five
minutes later, while Press completed the first-half scoring three minute before the break.
The University of Tennessee's Hannah Wilkinson scored in
the second half for the Football Ferns to cut the deficit to 3-1 before Press fed Heather O'Reilly to complete the scoring late in the game. Wilkinson, one of
four New Zealand players on U.S. college programs, caused the U.S. defense trouble throughout the game.
"In the second half, we got out of our rhythm and allowed New Zealand to dictate,"
U.S. coach Tom Sermanni said. "It was a tough fight in the second half."
Despite the U.S. struggles, its attack continues to score with regularity.
It has four or more goals in its last four games and three or more goals in the last seven.
The USA is now 12-0-2 in 2013 and scored less than three goals in only two games, a 1-1 tie
with Sweden and 2-0 win over Germany at the Algarve Cup.
Against New Zealand, the USA didn't need Alex Morgan, who played her college ball at
nearby Cal, was unavailable for the match because of an ankle injury during training.
Oct. 27 in San Francisco
USA 4 New Zealand 1. Goals: Rapinoe 7, Lloyd 12, Press 42, O'Reilly 87; Wilkinson 54.
Solo (Barnhart, 46); Krieger, Buehler, Sauerbrunn (Rampone, 73), Klingenberg; O'Reilly, Lloyd, Holiday (Mewis, 80), Rapinoe (Leroux, 80); Press, Wambach.
New Zealand -- Nayler; Erceg, Percival, Riley, Stott; Hassett (Yallop, 60), Hoyle, Longo; Gregorius (White, 79), Hearn, Wilkinson (Collins, 75).
Referee: Carol-Anne Chenard (Canada).