USA draws Japan 2-2 in their opening 2019 SheBelieves Cup match.
Megan Rapinoe Scores Her First Goal of 2019; Alex Morgan Tallies 99th Career Goal;
USA opened the 2019 SheBelieves Cup with a 2-2 tie against Japan in front of 14,555 fans at Talen Energy Stadium.
On a cold night, both teams began the game with quality possession while playing at pace, but the USA was able to create more dangerous opportunities in the attacking third, a theme that held up for the entire 90 minutes.
Japan nearly began the scoring in the 11th minute when Kumi Yokoyama hit the crossbar from the right side of the penalty area. However, it was the USA that broke through in the 23rd minute thanks to a great run from Tobin Heath down the right side all the way to the end line. With the Japanese goalkeeper at the near post, Heath played a cross on the ground to Megan Rapinoe and she smoothly finished into the open net.
The USA made a planned substitution at halftime with Emily Sonnett coming on for Kelley O’Hara and continued pressing for another goal, but Japan equalized in the 67th minute on a nice finish from Emi Nakajima. The goal came on Japan’s first shot on goal of the game.
Christen Press, who came into the game in the 75th minute, made an immediate impact and provided the crucial assist for Alex Morgan’s 99th career goal, which she netted in the 76th minute, to put the USA up 2-1.
As time ticked down, it looked as though the USA would see out the game comfortably, but after a delay in the match due to an injury to the assistant referee, five minutes of time were added and Japan got a final chance to tie the match.
A turnover led to Yui Hasegawa getting loose in the left side of the box she rolled the ball across the goal to the back post for Yuka Momiki who roofed the equaliser over a diving Alyssa Naher in the 91st minute, pulling the game even 2-2. The USA had a few late before the final whistle but could not create another goal.
In the first game of the day, England overcame a first half penalty kick from Andressa to defeat Brazil by a 2-1 score to open its 2019 SheBelieves Cup campaign with three points.
Brazil got on the board first when six-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta raced into the penalty area in the 15th minute and won the penalty kick that was converted by Andressa, but England equalized in the 49th minute after Fran Kirby assisted Ellen White’s equalizer just four minutes into the second half. Kirby again provided the assist in the 75th minute on Beth Mead’s stunning shot across the face of the goal into the left side netting for the game-winner.
Take a look at all the 2019 SheBelieves Cup fixtures, results and standings.
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