Morgan leads U.S. women to victory

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Alex Morgan scored 44 seconds into the match and the U.S. women's team went on to beat Ireland 2-0 on Saturday night.

Morgan also had an assist on Megan Rapinoe's goal late in the first half.

Morgan, who scored three times in the Americans' 5-0 victory over Ireland in Portland, Ore., on Wednesday night, has 28 goals this calendar year. Morgan and Rapinoe left the game in the 59th minute as U.S. coach Jill Ellis emptied her bench.

The match, in front of a crowd of 11,570 in 63,000-seat University of Phoenix Stadium, was the USA's seventh in a 10-game "Fan Tribute Tour" for the Olympic champions. The final three matches are against China, with the first on Dec. 8 at Ford Field in Detroit.

With the game barely underway, Morgan's shot from the left side found the net just inside the right post. With 3 matches to go, the prolific 23-year-old forward is on pace to become the third player in U.S. history with 30 goals in a calendar year. The others are Abby Wambach (31) in 2004 and Michelle Akers (39) in 1991. Morgan also earned her 19th assist of the year, fourth-most on the U.S. list.

The United States made it 2-0 in the 38th minute when Morgan again brought the ball into the left corner, then passed to Rapinoe just inside the 18-yard box. Rapinoe's left-footed line drive glanced off an Irish defender into the net.

The U.S. team had 14 shots on goal to just one for Ireland.

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo left the match in the 22nd minute after seeing little action at her end of the field.

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