U.S. defeats North Korea, 2-0, at Women’s World Cup on goals by Lauren Cheney and Rachel Buehler

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The U.S. got off to a winning start at the sixth Women’s World Cup in Germany on Tuesday by defeating North Korea, 2-0, on a warm evening in Dresden on second-half goals by former UCLA star Lauren Cheney and Rachel Buehler.

Earlier in the day, Sweden, playing in the same four-team group, also made a positive beginning when it edged Colombia, 1-0, on a goal by Jessica Landstrom. The results leave the U.S. and Sweden tied atop Group C with three points apiece, but with the U.S. in first place based on goals scored.


Cheney’s goal came just under 10 minutes into the second half. A great pass from midfielder Carli Lloyd set forward Abby Wambach free down the left flank. Wambach took the ball to the end line, then cut it back and crossed perfectly for Cheney to head it into the North Korea net.

In the 77th minute, the American team, a two-time World Cup winner, doubled its advantage. Defender Ali Krieger in sent a cross that rebounded off the crossbar to Lloyd, who sent the ball to Rachel Buehler. The defender took the gilt-edged chance and scored with ease.

There were two close calls in the wide-open game that saw the U.S. outshoot its opponent, 18-11. North Korea’s Ye Gyong Ri skipped a shot off the top of the U.S. crossbar just seconds after Cheney’s goal, and Wambach had a shot bang off the Korean crossbar in the 65th minute. The U.S. next plays Colombia on Saturday in Sinsheim, Germany.


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-- Grahame L. Jones