Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe scored on each side of halftime in the United States women’s national team’s 2-0 victory over China on Sunday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., but the big news of the day was the firing of head coach Tom Sermanni.
Sermanni has been sacked after just 16 months in charge of the U.S. He accumulated an 18-2-4 record and says he’s “completely blindsided” by the move from U.S. Soccer.
He didn’t even know any decision loomed just hours earlier Sunday as he guided the U.S. to victory.
The Americans are now unbeaten in their last 81 games at home (71-0-10), dating back to Nov. 6, 2004. Sunday’s win was the second straight victory for the U.S. after their 43-game unbeaten streak was snapped as part of a shocking three-game winless skid at the Algarve Cup last month.
Holiday scored 39 minutes into the match after the Americans dominated from the start but failed to finish. She calmly slotted the ball into the lower corner of the goal from 18 yards out after in ricocheted off several defenders inside the box.
Sydney Leroux had a pair of early chances and Christen Press twice missed an empty net from difficult angles in the 25th and 33rd minutes. Carli Lloyd also had a chance to open the scoring for the U.S. in the 32nd minute, but put her shot from 15 yards out over the bar.
Rapinoe entered the game for Holiday in the 67th minute, and 11 minutes later she scored on a dangerous free kick. Rapinoe curled her shot toward the back post and it went untouched through crossing traffic to sneak into the far side netting and extend the United States’ lead to 2-0.
The U.S. and China play again on Thursday in San Diego and the match will air live on NBCSN at 11 p.m. ET. The U.S. is now 31-8-12 all-time against China, who were once the Americans’ biggest rivals but haven’t been major players on the world stage in about a decade.
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