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US Women See Off Germany in Algarve Cup Final

Morgan Algarve winner

The United States Women completed the Algarve Cup on a high note when they saw off Germany today in the final. Going into today’s match, there was only one thing on the minds of US players, winning the Algarve Cup, and that they did. US coach Tom Sermanni made six roster changes to the side that faced Sweden on Monday putting veterans Abby Wambach and Christie Rampone on the bench for the start of the match. The US Women would not have to wait long to take the lead however, when in the 13th minute, forward Alex Morgan fired a shot into the top left corner of the goal. Morgan was paired upfront with Sydney Leroux, for only the second time as starters, to provide extra speed attacking the German goal.

Germany would not sit back on their heels and let the US off easily though. With Germany pressing for the equalizer, defender Ali Krieger came up with a shot saving tackle on Anja Mittag that stifled the attack. The US wasn’t content with a one goal lead against the number two ranked team in the world. In the 33rd minute, Alex Morgan slotted home her second of the game and third of the tournament, after a miscommunication between Almuth Schmidt and the German defense to extend the US lead to two goals. As the half time whistle blew, the US was on top of Germany 2-0.

While Nicole Barnhart played probably one of her best games in a US uniform, she was really called upon in the second half to keep Germany from spoiling a US win. In the 69th minute, a free kick by Alexandra Popp was goal bound when Barnhart dove to the right side of the goal to keep the Germans from getting on the board. Barnhart had to be quick to recover from the initial shot as the rebound went straight to Ceila Okoyino da Mbabi. Mbabi,who put her shot on frame, but could not beat Barnhart to put Germany back in the game. The final push from Germany saw Mbabi test the US goal once again, but failed to beet the US keeper.

The US Women have now won their ninth Algarve Cup in 14 appearances, and their first trophy under new head coach Tom Sermanni. The WNT will return home for approximately two weeks, before they travel back to Europe to play a friendly against Germany on April 5, and the Netherlands on April 9. Things are certainly off to a good start in the “Sermanni Era” for the US Women, and with the Women’s World Cup a little over two years away, look for the WNT to continue to improve on their already impressive record.

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