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USA press home victory
 Women's Football News 10 Feb 2013
 
United States 4 (Press 13, 32, Boxx 52, Leroux 89) Scotland 1 (Little 54)
Two first half goals from debutant Christen Press set up victory for USA in the first match of an away double header for Scotland. 
 
Shannon Boxx made it three for the home side before Kim Little pulled one back as she won her 75th cap in front of an 18,000-strong crowd at EverBank Field. Leroux lifted the ball over the advancing Gemma Fay with a minute left of regulation time to wrap up the win for the home side.
 
After an opening 45 minutes that saw Scotland confined mostly to their own half, Anna Signeul's side grew in confidence and provided more of an attacking threat after the break.
 
The full time professional USA side - who are currently world number one, Olympic champions, and feature FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Abby Wambach - looked menacing from the outset.
 
An Alex Morgan shot inside the first minute was blocked on the line by Hayley Lauder. Shannon Boxx followed up the rebound, but Gemma Fay saved.
 
Scotland weathered the early storm. Jennifer Beattie and Rhonda Jones both made clearances, while Rachael Small held off the towering Wambach to win a free kick on the edge of her own box.
 
USA made the breakthrough in the 13th minute when Press sent in a powerful shot from the edge of the box to mark her first cap with the opening goal.
 
Lauder had to put in a well timed tackle on Wambach to clear the danger on the left wing, while an Ali Krieger free kick was met by Press, who just bundled the ball wide.
 
On a rare foray into the USA box, Lisa Evans latched on to a Jo Love ball from midfield, but looped the ball well over the bar.
 
Carli Lloyd almost doubled the lead with a free kick just outside the box, when she curved the ball around the wall but hit the side netting.
 
In a neat bit of play, Beattie, Lauder and Emma Mitchell linked up well on the left wing, but couldn't get a final ball through to the lurking Evans.
 
Press scored the second after just over half an hour when she headed home a long Tobin Heath cross.
 
As the half came to a close Morgan, who came third in the FIFA World Player of the Year shortlist, limped off with an ankle knock after tangling with Love in midfield.
 
Scotland started the second half with more purpose, but it was the home side who struck once again. Boxx netted from around 25 yards, after getting on the end of a cross from double goalscorer Press.
 
Two minutes later Little pulled one back for Scotland when she pounced on a poor clearance to fire in a powerful shot that left goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, who replaced Jill Loyden at half time, with no chance.
 
Fay then pulled off a superb block to deny the impressive Press her hat-trick.
 
In a good period for Scotland, Evans had a great chance to grab a second when she darted in behind the USA defence, but dragged her shot just wide. Mitchell drew a save from Barnhart after a neat cut back from Love, and the goalkeeper also had to look smart to deny Jane Ross.
 
However, USA again extended their lead as Leroux struck to make it four and wrap up the win in Glasgow-born coach Tom Sermanni's first match in charge of the home side.
 
The two sides will meet again in Nashville on Wednesday night. 
 
Scotland: Gemma Fay, Rhonda Jones, Rachael Small (sub Frankie Brown 83mins), Joanne Love (sub Joelle Murray 83mins), Hayley Lauder, Kim Little, Jennifer Beattie (sub Eilish McSorley 73mins), Jane Ross (sub Suzanne Grant 88mins), Leanne Crichton (sub Leanne Ross 65mins), Lisa Evans, Emma Mitchell (sub Suzanne Malone 73mins).

(Report by www.scottishfa.co.uk)

 
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