Feb 1, 2014, 12:10 AM EDT
Sydney Leroux continues to infuriate her country of birth.
The Canadian-born 23-year-old scored against the US neighbors as the USWNT defeated Canada 1-0 to extended their home winning streak to 78 matches, dating back to 2004. They haven’t lost since 2012, running their streak to 40 games.
A gritty performance in Frisco, Texas was rewarded in the 77th minute when an off-balance Leroux touched home the winner after Becky Sauerbrunn did most of the work.
Sauerbrunn made a run into the box and found Christen Press, who played a perfect one-two back to Sauerbrunn who sent the ball across the face of goal. Leroux was falling backwards, but managed to maintain her balance and get her leg to the bouncing ball to touch it past goalkeeper Erin McLeod, who was out of position.
“That’s kind of how we play, and we push to the very last second. I’m just happy that we came out on top of the game 1-0. It was a good game. It was physical and I’m glad we came out on top,” Leroux said.
It was a just reward for an otherwise wasteful United States, who capped a few good chances – mostly in the first half – with weak shots on Canada’s net.
There was one other good chance for the United States earlier in the match, but defender Whitney Engen had a goal correctly ruled out for offsides, despite the close nature of the call. Moments later Canada’s Josée Bélanger should have scored but instead dragged a shot across the face of the net.
The visitors had one good chance to draw back level following Leroux’s goal, a late one in the 87th minute, but Jonelle Filigno shot directly at Hope Solo who made a comfortable save.
Despite the struggles at the attack, the US defense was as strong as ever, showing their .67 goals-per-match mark from 2013 was no fluke. Canada barely had a sniff on net, with build-up play often halted in the middle third.
The start is a promising one as the Americans look to bring their strong 2013 with them into CONCACAF qualifying for the 2015 World Cup, which will be hosted by Canada.
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