Leroux lifts U.S. women over Canada in friendly

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Updated: 1/31/2014 10:22 pm

Frisco, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Sydney Leroux netted the only goal of the match on Friday as the U.S. women's national team opened its 2014 schedule with a 1-0 win over Canada in an international friendly at Toyota Stadium.

The Americans, who went unbeaten in 16 matches last year, took the pitch for their first game of the year missing star forward Alex Morgan due to injury and midfielder Carli Lloyd due to red card suspension.

Both clubs struggled to find their offensive rhythm over the first quarter- hour, but the U.S. gradually seized control of the match, creating several quality scoring chances in the opening 45 minutes.

The best of those chances came in the 39th minute when a free kick from distance was launched into the penalty area and flicked on by Abby Wambach before being fired home on the turn by Whitney Engen, but the flag was up for offside.

Canada's best scoring opportunity came just moments later as Christine Sinclair sent Diana Matheson through on goal, but her shot was pushed wide of Hope Solo's far post.

The home side finally broke a tense deadlock in the 79th minute when Becky Sauerbrunn did well to keep possession and get to the end line before flicking it across the face of goal where Leroux smacked it home with a left-footed strike.

Canada sent numbers forward in search of an equalizer as the fourth official's board showed three minutes of stoppage time, but the goal never materialized and the U.S. came away with the victory.

The Americans will next be in action on Feb. 8 against Russia in Boca Raton, Fla.

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