Wambach leads U.S. past Canada
CARY, N.C. -- Abby Wambach and Natasha Kai scored goals to lead the United States to a 2-0 victory over Canada on Sunday in an exhibition game that gave the Americans a sweep of three matches in July.
The U.S. controlled play throughout, improving to 9-0-3 and outshooting Canada 13-5 during a physical contest that featured three yellow cards. Twenty of the 34 fouls called were on the Canadians.
"Nobody could say that this was an artistic game today," U.S. coach Greg Ryan said. "It was just a scrap and a battle. Credit Canada, they fought very, very hard, and I feel like our players matched their intensity and fortunately we were able to put a couple away."
Wambach scored her 57th career goal on a penalty kick late in the first half.
She became entangled with Canada defender Christine Latham and drew the attention of referee Sandra Serefini. Wambach then beat goalkeeper Erin McLeod low and to the right.
"In this game, Abby had to finish a (penalty kick)," Ryan said. "She is our leader on the front line. She's the one that we say 'When we get a penalty, you've got to step up and take it.' She buried it, and that's great."
Kai clinched it in the 80th minute when she streaked through the Canadian defense. McLeod stopped her first shot, but Kai kicked in the rebound from four yards out for her fifth goal in her eight-game career.
American keeper Hope Solo made three saves during the shutout, and also stopped several Canadian crosses.
"We know what a strong, aggressive, physical team Canada is, and we had to match that today," Ryan said.
Earlier this month, the Americans beat Sweden 3-2 in Blaine, Minn., and defeated Ireland 5-0 last week in San Diego.