Wambach sparks U.S. women to 4-0 victory over China

  • Associated Press
  • Wednesday, December 12, 2012 11:16pm
  • SportsSports

HOUSTON — Abby Wambach scored twice Wednesday night to become only the second soccer player to reach 150 international goals, and the United States beat China 4-0 in an exhibition game Wednesday night.

“I’m just really lucky,” Wambach said. “I’ve got really good players around me. They make me look good so often, so we’re having a blast.”

Carli Lloyd and Amy Rodriguez also scored to help the Americans extend their unbeaten streak to 22.

The night, however, belonged to Wambach. She opened the scoring in the 20th minute, splitting two defenders to head home Heather O’Reilly’s cross from the right side.

Wambach also slotted home an 8-yard rocket after cutting across a defender in the 63rd minute for her 25th goal of the year.

“She makes my job easy,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said.

“When all is said and done and you deal with tactics and deal with teams, it comes down to special players, and that exactly what Abby is. She’s a tremendous finisher inside the 18(-yard box). She’s clearly the best in the world.”

The 32-year-old Wambach needs eight goals to tie Mia Hamm as the U.S women’s career leader.

“She’s one of the bravest players in the world, maybe the bravest player in the world,” O’Reilly said. “And that’s why she’s able to finish so many goals. She takes us on her back so many games, so I’m so happy she was able to get some in the back of the net tonight.”

Wambach’s two-goal game came some eight years after she scored five times in a 5-0 victory over Ireland at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.

“Somehow, I like Houston,” Wambach said. “I like playing here.”

Lloyd gave the four-time gold medalists a 2-0 lead in the 62nd minute earlier with a header of her own off Megan Rapinoe’s corner kick.

Rodriguez capped the scoring with a 7-yard shot off a save by goalkeeper Wang Fei in the 85th minute.

The exhibition before 15,643 fans at BBVA Compass Stadium was the ninth match in the 10-game Fan Tribute Tour that wraps up Saturday in Boca Raton, Fla., with the third straight game against China.

The top-ranked Americans are 16-0-3 against China dating to 2003.

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