O’Reilly scores in first half as US women beat China 2-1

Saturday, October 2, 2010

O’Reilly helps US beat China 2-1

KENNESAW, Ga. — Heather O’Reilly and Megan Rapinoe scored in the first half to power the U.S. women’s team to a 2-1 victory over China on Saturday night.

O’Reilly had an assist on Rapinoe’s goal and added one of her own in the 37th minute, giving the U.S. the lead.

The United States will play China again on Wednesday in Chester, Pa., in the Americans’ last game before the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying tournament begins in Mexico on Oct. 28.

The U.S. is 9-0-1 this year and is unbeaten in 47 consecutive matches on home soil. The tie this year was 1-1 against Sweden on July 13 in Omaha, Neb., and the Americans won the rematch 3-0 four days later in East Hartford, Conn.

After failing to convert several early opportunities, the U.S. broke through in the 21st minute. China goalie Huang Luna punched out a cross by O’Reilly and Rapinoe was there for the first goal of the game.

China tied it in the 33rd minute when Qu Shanshan scored on a long rebound from just outside the box after U.S. keeper Jill Loyden stopped a shot by Wang Yihang.

The tie lasted just four minutes. Abby Wambach passed to O’Reilly, who hit the post from short range before knocking in the rebound.

The U.S. will drop from 30 players to 24 on Sunday before the trip to Pennsylvania. After the rematch with China, the roster will be trimmed to 20 for the qualifying tournament in Mexico.

The 2011 World Cup will be hosted by two-time defending champion Germany. The U.S. finished third in 2007.

China failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time, losing to Japan 2-0 in the third-place match in the recent Asian qualifying tournament.

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