The U.S. Women's Soccer team celebrated Valentine’s Eve in Atlanta in a game postponed for a day by bad weather by showing no love and affection to the Russians defeating them 8-0 in front of more than 16,000 fans at the Georgia Dome on Thursday night.
The U.S. went one better than they did on earlier in the week when they beat the same team 7-0 in the sunshine in Florida but for the first 45 minutes it looked like it might be a little tighter as the USA went in at halftime only winning 1-0.
The USA were dominant throughout the game but had difficulty early on translating that superiority into goals. They controlled possession and had a huge territorial advantage that kept the Russians pinned in their own half.
The dominance came from the U.S. midfield where Carli Lloyd and Morgan Brian from the central positions fed Heather O’Reilly, and Megan Rapinoe on the wings to great effect.
O’Reilly had an MVP night scoring one goal and assisting on another and her constant threat wide on the right side was a problem for the Russians all night long.
On the other end the Russians couldn't get anything going and Hope Solo, in the first half, and Jill Loyden in the second half weren't tested at all.
The U.S. were 2-0 up before they even scored a goal courtesy of two own goals from the Russians; the first in the 11th minute and the second just after halftime in the 50th minute.
The second goal caused the floodgates to open and the Americans added six more in a goalfest that delighted the fans. Amy Rodriguez scored in the 52nd minute. Abby Wambach added one in the 54th minute. Megan Rapinoe got in on the action in the 65th minute.
Three more were scored very late in the game as Lauren Holiday scored from a penalty she herself had been awarded when she was brought down in the area in the 81st minute. Heather O’Reilly scored in the 83rd minute while Christen Press finished the scoring off in the 86th minute.
Coach Sermanni noted about the one day weather delay, “We looked a little bit rusty. Give credit to Russia, they’d obviously done their homework from the last game and in the first half made it difficult for us. The game was quite tight. The difference in the second half was we got two early goals….After that, we got into a stride, the space opened up a bit more and we started to create a few chances. It took us a little bit to get going tonight, which is to be expected, and credit to Russia for making it difficult for 55 minutes out there.”
Next up for the U.S.A. Women’s Team is The Algarve Cup in Portugal in March.