Monday, April 2, 2012
U.S. Women Salvage A Tie Against Their Toughest Rival-Japan-In Kirin Challenge Cup
Well the U.S. women's national team have more than met their match in Japan. The U.S. is 0-2-1 in its last three contests against the 2011 Women's World Cup winners.
At least yesterday in the first game of the Kirin Challenge Cup in Sendai, Japan, the U.S. was able to tie Japan, 1-1. That sure beats a loss, especially because the U.S. rallied in the second half from a 1-0 deficit.
Japan went up 1-0 in the 32nd minute thanks to a defensive breakdown by the U.S. and a nice passing sequence by the hosts. Yukari Kinga got a chipped through ball and her first shot was saved by U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo. However, Kinga was able to get to the rebound before a few American defenders and she made it 1-0.
Alex Morgan scored her sixth goal in eight games (12th in 2012 and 10th since she became a starter vs. Canada in January) to tie it at 1 in the 73rd minute. It was controversial since at first, the refs called it off but then in true bush league fashion they ruled it was good seconds later. Weird stuff but they made the right call which is what matters.
Carli Lloyd had the ball taken away from her-so it wasn't a pass-plus it went off a Japan defender to Morgan. Finally, Morgan wasn't offside anyways.
The U.S. women will get a crack at their other biggest rival tomorrow as they face Brazil at 7 a.m. EST on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com in Chiba, Japan in another Kirin Challenge Cup game. Fans can also follow along on ussoccer.com's matchtracker and on their Twitter account: @ussoccer_wnt
Yesterday was the first draw of 2012 for the Americans who are 9-1-1. Both the loss and tie have come against Japan. The USA has now failed to beat Japan in three consecutive games, a rare feat for a U.S. opponent, but one Japan accomplished in three consecutive meetings with the USA between 2000-2004 when the teams tied three times.
The meeting on Tuesday with Brazil will be the first between the teams since the historic quarterfinal at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in which Abby Wambach scored the latest goal in World Cup history to tie the score and the Americans went on to win in a dramatic penalty kick shootout.