The Algarve Cup threw up a star in Lauren Cheney who scored the winning goal for a pulsating, 3-2 victory over Germany, the women's World Cup champion.
It was not easy playing on this pitch. Large areas were little less than mud. One can feel for both goalies as they had to deal with ball which did strange things. Nadine Angerer, the German goalie was left gesticulating angrily through the match.
Goals from Carli Lloyd and Abby Wambach within four minutes of each other put the USA up before Germany rallied though Inka Grings to narrow the score, 2-1. In the 70th minute a lofted ball towards Cheney saw Angerer charging out and misjudging the bounce. The ball got away from her and straight to Cheney leaving her a simple tap into an empty goal.
Cheney's goal proved to be the difference as Grings and Germany staged a comeback with a goal five minutes later.
USA held on for the win through some stellar defending by Amy LePeilbet and Rachel Buehler. Hope Solo came up with a save to what would have been an own goal in the last minute.
Congratulations to Pia Sundhage and the US women!