Ireland women suffer heavy defeat to USA
Updated: Thursday, 29 Nov 2012 11:11
The Republic of Ireland Women's international team suffered a 5-0 loss to the USA on a chilly night in Portland, Oregan, in the early hours of this morning.
Sue Ronan's side were always going to be outsiders against the Olympic soccer champions and an Alex Morgan hat-trick in the first half and a double from substitute Sydney Leroux after the break decided the game in front of 10,092 spectators at JELD-WEN Field.
The sides will meet again this Saturday at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Morgan’s treble was further proof of her incredible scoring form this year - she has hit 27 goals for her country in 2012.
The Irish started with a 4-5-1 formation but Morgan was the threat early on and was denied in the seventh and 21st minutes by Arsenal goalkeeper Emma Byrne.
The deadlock was broken in the 24th minute when Morgan found the bottom corner of the Irish net with a low strike from just outside the box that went in via the inside of the left upright.
Morgan made it 2-0 in the 34th minute after left-back Becky Sauerbrunn found Lauren Cheney in the area and she played the ball back to Morgan who fired home from close range.
Just before halftime Morgan found the net again after her initial shot was blocked and the rebound fell kindly to the lethal strike who fired home with Byrne left helpless.
Substitute Leroux made it 4-0 in the 62nd minute after connecting with a cross from fellow substitute Heather O’Reilly to head home from six yards out.
Leroux added her second in the 81st minute after combining with Lauren Cheney and Any Rodriguez before producing a low shot that squeezed under Byrne before crossing the line.
This victory extended the USA's unbeaten run to 19 games.
USA: Hope Solo (Nicole Barnhart 46); Heather Mitts (Kelley O’Hara 46), Christie Rampone, Rachel Buehler, Becky Sauerbrunn, Megan Rapinoe (Amy Rodriguez 59), Carli Lloyd, Lauren Cheney, Tobin Heath (Heather O’Reilly 46); Alex Morgan (Sydney Leroux 59), Abby Wambach (Shannon Boxx 46).
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Emma Byrne; Sophie Perry (Mary Therese McDonnell 46), Louise Quinn, Yvonne Tracey, Meabh De Burca; Niamh Fahey (Ciara Grant 57), Julie Ann Russell, Aine O’Gorman (Shannon Smyth 46), Diane Caldwell; Fiona O’Sullivan, Denise O’Sullivan