Football

Wambach makes international goalscoring history

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Wambach gets a good soaking. (©GettyImages)
Wambach gets a good soaking. (©GettyImages).

Abby Wambach broke new ground on Friday as she netted a 29 minute hat-trick for the USA against South Korea to surpass Mia Hamm to become the highest goalscorer in the history of international football.

The 33-year-old, who made her first appearance for the USA 12 years ago, scored international goals number 157, 158 and 159 inside opening half-hour - the third enough to topple Hamm - and added fourth for good measure before the interval.

Wambach's record now stands at a staggering 160 goals scored in 207 matches for her country, and means the Western New York Flash forward has found the net more often than any player in the women's or men's game.

After the resounding victory in the Red Bull Arena, Wamback reflected on her achievement, and attributed her success to the influence of her array of teammates in over a decade at the top.

"It's surreal to begin with," she told reporters. "I'm so thankful and my teammates were trying to get me those goals. I can't thank them enough.

"As a competitor you want to be done with the things that put me at the forefront of conversations. This team is too good to be talking about one person."

Hamm, who retired in 2004 with 158 goals in 275 games, quickly released a statement following Wambach's achievement to lavish praise on her former teammate.

"I'm just so proud of her," Hamm said. "She fights for the ball, she's courageous and she never gives up. Her strength and perseverance is what makes her so great and it's what defenders and opposing teams fear.

"From being her teammate early in her career, I know all she ever wanted to do was win and she continues to do that. I'm just glad I got to share 158 with her. It was short but it was fun."

The record haul of international goals by a man is the 109 scored by Al Daei of Iran - the only player ever to have broken the century barrier.

Topics:
Football
Internationals
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