SENDAI, JAPAN - APRIL 01: Shannon Boxx of United States in action during the international friendly match between Japan and United States at Yurtex Stadium Sendai on April 1, 2012 in Sendai, Japan. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)
For a game that had its start time pushed forward four hours from its originally scheduled 8:00PM start time (Japan time), the USWNT played surprisingly well. With typhoons on the horizon, the US Women quietly dispatched a Brazilian squad who played without their star player, Marta. Brazil was also without their starting goalkeeper, Andrei, who picked up a head injury during their recent game against Canada, diminishing their chances for revenge against the team that knocked them out of the World Cup just nine months ago.
USWNT head coach Pia Sundhage started the match with the same starting XI she played against Japan two days ago. Carli Lloyd opened up the scoring in the 18th minute, coming off a rebounded free kick from team captain Christie Rampone. The US would go into the locker room at half time with a 2-0 lead after Shannon Boxx sneaked a header into the net after a perfectly placed cross from Lauren Cheney. With the impending typhoon showing its power late in the second half, Amy Rodriguez put the game away, scoring off yet another rebounded free kick, with all the USA's goals coming off of set pieces.
Though this match may have lacked some excitement, the second half helped reinforce the call for offside technology in football. During the 68th minute, Alex Morgan seemingly scored her second goal of the series, after burying a header in off a Stephanie Cox cross. The goal was shown from a few different angles and every single one of them showed that Morgan was clearly onside.
Brazil also had its own bit of controversy. After a 30th minute cross from the right side of the end line from Formiga, Christiane headed the ball past Hope Solo, making it a one goal match. That was until the goal was called back,with the call being that that ball had flown out of bounds and then back in during the cross. From a viewers standpoint, the ball didn't seem to go out of bounds, but even if it did, there is a reason there is talk of getting rid of the rule, especially when it's a matter of inches.
It seems Pia Sundhage has found her starting XI for the London Summer Olympics. However, she still has seven (six if you count the need for a backup keeper) slots open for the 18 players squad. Those seven slots will be up for grabs when the USWNT takes on China at the home of the Philadelphia Union, PPL Park on May 27th. Union fans wanting to see the US Women in action before the Olympic games can purchase tickets through the Union and US Soccer website.