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US women beat Netherlands 3-1 in exhibition

Source : AP
Last Updated: Tue, Apr 09, 2013 20:15 hrs

Christen Press scored twice and the U.S. women's team beat the Netherlands 3-1 in an exhibition Tuesday night that extended the Americans' unbeaten streak to 31 games.

Tobin Heath put the Olympic champions ahead in the 36th minute. Sydney Leroux went around Kirsten van de Ven and crossed for the 24-year-old Press, who laid off the ball for Heath to curl into the corner for her eighth international goal.

Press made it 2-0 in the 45th, running onto a through pass by Leroux and calmly stroking the ball past goalkeeper Loes Geurts from just inside the penalty area. Press needed no help in the 60th, charging through the heart of the defense and driving a low shot into the far corner for her sixth goal in seven appearances since her international debut in February.

"She's done that all year," U.S. coach Tom Sermanni said. "The composure in the finishing has been outstanding. Both goals she took tonight were two excellent striker's goals."

The 22-year-old Leroux was the youngest player on the U.S. roster at last year's Olympics.

"She's a handful. For 90 minutes, she's the type of player you don't want to be playing against," Sermanni said. "I felt sorry for her tonight. She was desperate to score and didn't quite get on target."

Outshot 19-5, the Dutch got a goal in the 81st minute when Manon Melis lobbed goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris.

The Americans tied Germany 3-3 Friday in the opening of the two-game tour, and in his eighth game since taking over Sermanni made 10 changes to the starting lineup and kept his most experienced players on the bench

Abby Wambach didn't play and remained at 155 international goals, three behind Mia Hamm's record. Captain Christie Rampone and veteran midfielder Shannon Boxx also started on the bench.

"Abby's still your key player, your go-to player," Sermanni said. "At this time of the year, this is a great opportunity for me to look at other players."

Geurts tipped a powerful long-range drive by Yael Averbuch before the Dutch succumbed to the relentless pressure. Julie Johnston had a header disallowed for offside in the 72nd minute.

"I think at times we could play with a little more composure," Sermanni said. "But overall, considering we made 10 changes from the previous game, I was really pleased with the performance."




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