Tobin Heath Nets Game-Winner In Return, USWNT Defeats China, 2-1

USWNT-rapinoe-morgan-mexico

After the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) defeated China on Thursday, both teams took the field again Tuesday night for a friendly rematch. Although the second match was much like the first, there were some improvements over game one.

The U.S. dominated possession from the start but were not able to put together any threatening chances due to sloppy play, including inaccurate passing and to many turnovers in the run of play.

Despite this, the U.S. still maintained control over the match, with the first real chance coming in the 31st minute. Nice ball movement gave Megan Rapinoe a chance in front of goal, but she gave the ball up to Alex Morgan, who had her shot deflected by the Chinese goalie which Julie Ertz pounced on but was offside.

Rapinoe took her chance just a few minutes later when a beautiful Christen Press cross into the box found the head of Rapinoe, who struck the ball down into the net for a 1-0 U.S. lead in the 35th minute.

After more U.S. possession in the final minutes of the half, the team took the lead into halftime. As the second half got underway, China pressured the U.S. more than it had the entire first half, looking to force a U.S. mistake that they could capitalize on.

After the U.S. made multiple subs, China continued to ramp up the pressure, forcing an error when Becky Saurbrunn and Tierna Davidson went for the same ball and didn’t win it. The mistake left Crystal Dunn as the only defender in a two-on-one, with Li Ying capitalizing and evening the score with a goal.

China nearly took the lead in the 74th minute, but Ashyln Harris made a big save on a ball that was heading towards the upper corner of the goal on a free kick, keeping the score level. Just one minute later, a series of bounces in the box became a Tobin Heath goal, who chipped it over the head of the Chinese goalie for a 2-1 lead. It was Heath’s first goal since 2016 in her first game since September after recovering from injuries.

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The U.S. had a few more chances in the final minutes but couldn’t convert, settling for a 2-1 win. Despite a game with a surprising number of mistakes for the U.S., they were still able to answer in the face of a difficult challenge, while multiple players were able to play valuable minutes in a quest to become fully healthy.

Notes

Press reaches 100 caps

With the start in Tuesday night’s game, Christen Press registered her 100th cap, becoming the 37th player in U.S. history to reach the mark. A 2015 Women’s World Cup champion, Press assisted on Rapinoe’s goal in the 35th minute, her 20th with the USWNT, while also having scored 44 goals in her international career.

1st cap

In the 77th minute, Merritt Mathias came into the match for Sofia Huerta, making her first appearance for the USWNT. The 27-year old defender currently plays for the North Carolina Courage, and formerly played for the U.S. Under-17 and U.S. Under-23 National teams.

Friendlies announced for September

On Monday, U.S. Soccer announced upcoming friendlies for the USWNT against Chile. The first game will take place on August 31 at 9 p.m. MT in Carson, California, while the second will take place on September 4 at 8 p.m. MT in San Jose. Both matches will precede World Cup qualifying in October and will be televised on ESPN2. This will be the first time in the history of the USWNT that they will face Chile, and just the fourth South American country they have played in their storied history.

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Alex Morgan Scores Game-Winning Goal, Leads USWNT Past China In International Friendly

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