CINCINNATI (Nov. 5, 2008) - The fifth game of the U.S. Women's National Team's Achieve Your Gold Tour resulted in a 0-0 draw as U.S. goalkeepers Nicole Barnhart and Briana Scurry combined to shutout Korea Republic in front of a crowd of 5,877 at Paul Brown Stadium on Wednesday evening.
With neither team being able to find the back of the net on the narrow turf playing field, the loudest cheers from the night came during the introduction of Cincinnati native Heather Mitts, who was returning to the area for the first time since winning gold in Beijing. Mitts was the last player to leave the field following the game, signing autographs for nearly 30 minutes following the conclusion of the match.
"We were happy that we were able to keep the ball out of the back of the net," Mitts said. "A tie obviously isn't a win, but it's better than a loss. I wish we could have gotten a win for the crowd tonight. All these fans came out on a school night and hopefully they had a great time, but we would have liked to get the win."
Midfielder Carli Lloyd was out of the starting lineup for the first time in all of 2008 with a nagging injury, and combined with the speedy turf, the U.S. attack found limited possession time and had difficulty breaking through the Korean defense.
The closest the U.S. came to finding the back of the net was in the 31st minute, as forward Lindsay Tarpley blasted a shot that ricocheted off the bottom of the crossbar and bounced tantalizingly close to the goal line before bouncing up with backspin and away from the net where South Korea was able to clear.
Minutes later, Kwon Hah Nul was the first to test Barnhart, getting the ball in the area in the 35th minute as the U.S. ‘keeper charged off the line to make the save on the left side of her area. Eight minutes later, it was Park Hee Young testing Barnhart, who was making her seventh start of the year. Park's shot from 30 yards out dipped just before Barnhart was able to leap and tip it over the crossbar.
At the half, Scurry came on for Barnhart and eight minutes in proved her equal. On a free kick, Lee Jang Mi served a bending ball to the back post that Korean captain Kim Yoo Mi headed down to the near post, but Scurry reacted quickly and made a body save on the quick shot.
In the 60th minute, Rachel Buehler came on to replace U.S. captain Christie Rampone, and along with Kate Markgraf, the defensive duo limited South Korea to five shots in the second half.
"Today we struggled a little bit receiving the ball and controlling it," said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. "I definitely think both Kate Markgraf and Rachel Buehler played an excellent game and so did our goalkeepers. We did well to keep the ball out of our net."
In the waning moments, the U.S had a final chance to grab the win as Natasha Kai was able to cross the ball from the left corner, but Korea's Kim Huiyeaong just touched the ball away as a streaking Kacey White was about to one-time a shot at the back post.
The U.S. concludes its three-game series with Korea Republic on Saturday, Nov. 8, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., at 7 p.m. ET. The U.S. also recently announced matches on Dec. 13 and Dec. 17 against China in Carson, Calif., and Detroit, respectively. Tickets for all U.S. Women's National Team games are available via ussoccer.com.
U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT
Match: U.S. Women's National Team vs. Korea Republic
Date: Nov. 5, 2008
Competition: International Friendly - Achieve Your Gold Tour
Venue: Paul Brown Stadium; Cincinnati
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 57 degrees, cool, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
KOR 0 0 0
USA: 18-Nicole Barnhart (22-Briana Scurry, 46); 2-Heather Mitts, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.) (4-Rachel Buehler, 60), 15-Kate Markgraf, 17-Lori Chalupny (19-Marian Dalmy, 66); 9-Heather O'Reilly (21-Kacey White, 46), 7-Shannon Boxx (14-Stephanie Cox, 33), 10-Aly Wagner, 16-Angela Hucles; 5-Lindsay Tarpley, 6-Natasha Kai
Subs not used: 11-Carli Lloyd, 20-Tina Ellertson
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage
KOR: 1-Jun Minkyung; 3-Yi Ju Eun, 13-Kim Do Yeon, 4-Kim Yoo Mi, 24-Cho So Hyun; 22-Lee Eun Mi (6-Joen Ga Eul, 46), 28-Kim Sooyun (14-Go Taehwa, 89), 8-Kwon Hah Nul; 10-Lee Jang Mi, 19-Cha Yun Hee (7-Kim Huiyeong, 67), 11-Park Hee Young (9-Han Song I, 71)
Subs not used: 12-Lee Sea Eun, 16-Shim Seo Yeon, 15-Hwang Boram, 17-Choi Sun Jin, 18-Kim Jung Mi, 20-Kim Yu Jin, 21-Kim Seuri, 25-Kim Yunji, 27-Kwak Jihye, 29-Noh Dahee
Head Coach: An Iksoo
Stats Summary: USA / KOR
Shots: 9 / 9
Shots on Goal: 4 / 6
Saves: 6 / 4
Corner Kicks: 7 / 2
Fouls: 13 / 4
Offside: 7 / 1
Referee: Veronica Brito (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Rachelle Bramlege (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mandy Love (USA)
Fourth Official: Michelle Cowman (USA)
Sierra Mist Woman of the Match: Nicole Barnhart