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U.S. Women 2-0 Japan: Round two brings same result

The United States Women’s National Team defeated Japan 2-0 on Wednesday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.  The victory was the second in five days for the U.S., which beat Japan by the same score in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday.

Amy Rodriguez opened the scoring in the 28th minute when she finished a pass from Heather O’Reilly.  Shannon Boxx started the play with a lofted ball over the top that found O’Reilly, who settled the ball and attacked the end line, beating  Aya Sameshima to the end line and playing the ball to Rodriguez for the one-time, left-footed finish from 10 yards out.

After dominating the second half in which Japan managed only one legitimate chance, the U.S. finally got its second goal in the 69th minute when O’Reilly took on Sameshima one-on-one and slotted a left footed shot into the side netting.

The U.S. would get the 2-0 win, although it should have been far worse for Japan.  Alex Morgan blew an empty net chance in the 62nd minute just seconds after entering the game.  She found herself in alone and touched the ball around Japanese goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori, but instead of taking the shot immediately with her left foot, Morgan took a touch to set up a right-footed shot.  That allowed Japanese defender Azusa Iwashimizu to recover and make an incredible sliding block.  Abby Wambach also put her header over the bar from three yards out in the 79th minute.  Wambach somehow managed to bounce the ball up and over the crossbar from that close.

With back-to-back 2-0 wins over Japan in the last five days, the U.S. plays Mexico on June 5 at Red Bull Arena in the team’s final tune-up match before the Women’s World Cup.  The U.S. opens the tournament against North Korea on June 28 in Dresden, Germany.

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