U.S. WNT plays Japan to 2-2 draw in SheBelieves Cup opener
CHESTER, Pa. (Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Women’s National Team 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 equalizer 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.
2019 SheBelieves Cup Standings
Up Next: The WNT will travel south to Nashville, Tenn., to face England on March 2 (4:30 p.m. ET; FOX) at Nissan Stadium, while Japan will take on Brazil in the earlier game of the day (2 p.m. ET; ussoccer.com). The U.S. will finish its 2019 SheBelieves schedule vs. Brazil on March 5 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. (8 p.m. ET; FS1).
Social: Follow the #USWNT onFacebook;Twitter and Instagram.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Tobin Heath), 23rd minute: Mallory Pugh found Tobin Heath on the right flank and Heath took off running into the penalty area, dribbling all the way to the end line before placing a perfect cross on the ground to the top of the six-yard box where Rapinoe finished with a single right-footed touch to score the USA’s first goal of the game. USA 1, JPN 0. WATCH GOAL .
JPN – Emi Nakajima, 67th minute: Japan played a chipped ball into the box that bounced off a U.S. defender and then a Japan attacker before rolling to Tierna Davidson who attempted to clear the ball, but it went right to Nakajima who took a touch and then bent the ball into the left side of the net from 13 yards out giving Naeher no chance. USA 1, JPN 1. WATCH GOAL .
USA – Alex Morgan (Christen Press), 76th minute: Second half sub Christen Press made an immediate impact with her speed. After receiving the ball on the right wing and evading her defender, she crossed it into the middle of the six-yard box where Morgan met the ball with her chest, wrong-footed the Japanese goalkeeper, and it flew into the right side of the net for her 99th international goal. USA 2, JPN 1. WATCH GOAL .
JPN – Yuka Momiki (Yui Hasegawa), 91st minute : As the teams battled for possession near midfield, Japan came up with the ball and advanced upfield through a neat combination of passes that eventually sprung Hasegawa into the left side of the penalty area. As she neared the goal, she squared the ball across the face of net for the crashing Momiki to lift the equalizer over a sprawling Alyssa Naeher. USA 2, JPN 2. WATCH GOAL . FINAL.
- Alex Morgan scored her first of 2019 to up her career total to 99 international goals in 156 caps. At age 29, she sits in sole possession of seventh place on the USA’s all-time goal list. Morgan has scored 26 goals over her last 29 WNT matches, a span that runs from the end of 2017. The 26 goals have included six braces and one hat trick.
- Megan Rapinoe scored her first goal of 2019 tonight, the 43rd of her career. This is the third consecutive year that Rapinoe scores vs. Japan. She also tallied during their matchups at the 2017 and 2018 Tournament of Nations.
- Tobin Heath earned her first assist of the year and the 36th of her career on Rapinoe’s goal tonight. In 2018, Heath recorded six assists in 10 appearances for the USA.
- Christen Press earned her first assist of 2019 tonight one minute after coming in as a second half substitute.
- Since the 2017 SheBelieves Cup, the USA has failed to score in just one game (vs. Australia at the 2017 ToN). That’s a 35-game span.
– 2019 SheBelieves Cup Match Report –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Japan
Date: February 27, 2019
Competition: SheBelieves Cup
Venue: Talen Energy Stadium; Chester, Pa.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: 35 degrees; cloudy, cold
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
JPN 0 2 2
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Tobin Heath) 23rd minute
JPN – Emi Nakajima 67
USA – Alex Morgan (Christen Press) 76
JPN – Yuka Momiki (Yui Hasegawa) 90+1
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara (2-Emily Sonnet, 46), 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 12-Tierna Davidson, 19-Crystal Dunn; 8-Julie Ertz, 11-Mallory Pugh (23-Christen Press, 75), 16-Rose Lavelle; 17-Tobin Heath, 13-Alex Morgan (capt.) (10-Carli Lloyd, 85), 15-Megan Rapinoe
Substitutes: 21-Adrianna Franch, 24-Ashlyn Harris, 3-Samantha Mewis, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Andi Sullivan, 14-Casey Short, 20-Jessica McDonald, 22-Emily Fox, 25-McCall Zerboni
Head coach: Jill Ellis
JPN : 21-Erina Yamane; 6-Saori Ariyoshi (12-Risako Oga, 59), 3-Aya Sameshima, 4-Saki Kumagai (capt.), 22-Risa Shimizu; 9-Hina Sugita, 16-Arisa Matsubara, 14-Yui Hasegawa, 7-Emi Nakajima (19-Jun Endo, 82); 20-Kumi Yokoyama (15-Yuka Momiki, 80), 11-Rikako Kobayashi (13-Mayu Ikejiri, 59)
Substitutes: 1-Rei Takenaka, 18-Ayaka Saitoh, 2-Rumi Utsugi, 5-Nana Ichise, 8-Moeno Sakaguchi, 23-Moeka Minami, 24-Asato Miyagawa
Head coach: Asako Takakura
Stats Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 13 / 5
Shots on Goal: 6 / 2
Saves: 0 / 4
Corner Kicks: 8 / 4
Fouls: 10 / 6
Offside: 3 / 2
JPN – Saki Kumagai (caution) 38th minute
Referee: Melissa Borjas (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Shirely Perello (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Lidia Ayala (SLV)
4th Official: Tatiana Guzman (NCA)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Tobin Heath