23.07.2006 at 13:00 San Diego
O Reilly 21 mins,
Whitehill 43 mins,
Wambach 60 mins,
Rapinoe 78mins, 90 mins
Olivia O' Toole
The Republic of Ireland Women’s International team lost 5-0 Olympic Champions USA in the heat of San Diego where temperatures at pitch level reached over 110 degrees at times. With Kick off time scheduled at 13.00 hours to suit the needs of television the Irish were expecting a tough afternoon’s work and so it worked out.
Irish Manager Noel King was a disappointed man after the 90 minutes ‘I can have no complaints with the result or the score line. This US side are a powerful unit, they are strong, quick, disciplined and talented and no matter where or when you play them they will cause you problems and more than likely, beat you well.’
King added, ‘I have always believed in playing better teams in order to improve and I still do but on this occasion I’m not sure we got value for our efforts and the money we spent. The heat levels, the time of the kick off and the ridiculous six minute break at half-time certainly didn’t help us and to be honest in these games we need all the help we can get.’
The Americans went is search of goals from the kick off but the Irish women showed great resolve in the opening quarter as they restricted the US to long range efforts.
In the 21st minute as Ireland surrendered possession needlessly on the halfway line, US midfielder, Welsh took full advantage with a run down the left wing before crossing for O Reilly, who squeezed the ball past Byrne in the Irish goal to give the US the lead.
Ireland responded well and continued to frustrate their more illustrious opponents with some excellent defending and looked to be heading for the break with a respectable one goal deficit until some slack marking at a corner kick gifted the US a second.
Tina Frimpong forced a super save from Byrne but in the follow up the unmarked Whitehill was first to the rebound and slotted home from five yards to leave Ireland 2-0 down.
When Ireland conceded a third on the hour to Wambach the result was in doubt. In the scorching heat both teams introduced their full compliment of substitutes as the game drifted to the end.
Goals from Kai and Rapinoe in the 78th and the 90th minute finished the scoring and ended Ireland’s preparation for next months World Cup clash against Germany in Dublin, which promises to be equally as tough.
USA : Hope Solo, Heather Mitts (Christie Rampone 69), Cat Whitehill, Tina Frimpong (Amy LePeilbet 75), Lori Chalupny, Leslie Osborne (Marci Miller 46), Carli Lloyd (Lindsay Tarpley, 54), Aly Wagner, Christie Welsh (Natasha Kai 46), Heather O'Reilly (Megan Rapinoe 69), Abby Wambach
Ireland : Emma Byrne (Sarah Peters 77), Sharon Boyle (Emma Griffin 89), Delores Deasley (Diane Caldwell 68), Alisha Moran, Elaine O'Connor, Sonya Hughes, Ciara Grant, Denise Thomas (Aine O'Gorman, 71), Laura Hislop (Claire Scanlon 89), Katie Taylor, Olivia O'Toole (Nicole Scherick 79).