Wambach scores twice on headers
CLEVELAND -- Abby Wambach scored twice on headers in the second half to give the U.S. women's team a 2-0 win over China on Saturday night.
The match was the first in a six-game exhibition series for the United States leading up to the World Cup in September in China.
Wambach outjumped goalkeeper Zhang Yanru in the 67th minute to convert a looping free kick from 35 yards by captain Kristine Lilly.
In the 88th minute, Wambach dove headlong to redirect a corner kick from Stephanie Lopez into her seventh goal of the year and 73rd in 91 career games. She's two behind Cindy Parlow for fifth on the Americans' all-time list.
It was the 17th multi-goal game of Wambach's career and helped the Americans extended their team-record unbeaten streak in regulation time to 42 games.
The U.S. is 34-0-7 since coach Greg Ryan took over the program in March 2005 -- the last loss to Germany in the championship game of the 2006 Algarve Cup on penalty kicks after a scoreless tie. Since that game, Team USA is 20-0-3.
The U.S. was without starting goalkeeper Hope Solo, who returned home to Richland, Wash., because her father, Jeffrey, died Thursday night. The Americans wore black armbands in his honor.
Briana Scurry, one of the heroes of the 1999 World Cup championship team, started in goal but was rarely tested as the U.S. controlled the ball throughout.
The U.S., ranked No. 1 in the world, improved to 8-0-2 this year, including three wins over China, ranked 11th in the world.
China, which had gone undefeated in four games since former Swedish National Team coach Marika Domanski-Lyfors took over in the spring, mounted only one sustained offensive flurry early in the second half.
U.S. coach Greg Ryan inserted Leslie Osborne at midfield for Shannon Boxx in the 53rd minute and the move helped the Americans break out offensively.
The Americans will play Brazil at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., next Saturday.