A late goal from Carli Lloyd allowed the U.S. WNT to escape from Seattle with a 1-1 comeback draw against Brazil as the World Cup Victory Tour rolled on.
A record Washington State (women’s game) crowd came out to celebrate the American Women’s World Cup victory and to say a final farewell to longtime U.S. great Shannon Boxx, but they soon found out that Brazil had no interest in playing the Washington Generals role (vs the Globetrotters) and had come to the Emerald City looking for a win.
The game was preceded by a nice tribute to Boxx, who would start in the final game of her wonderful career, breaking out her married name, Speakman, for the occasion.
Other than Boxx, U.S. coach Jill Ellis fielded a first choice type lineup against Brazil, still the visitors wasted little time in taking the lead. Monica finished from a corner kick in the third minute, quickly putting the United States remarkable home streak without a loss on the line.
There were of course 87 minutes left for the U.S. to equalize and more, but Brazil proved very difficult to break down, displaying defensive discipline, while controlling much of the possession.
The crowd seemed energized to be witnessing a genuinely competitive match against a quality team, preferring Marta and her talented teammates to the likes of a young, wildly overmatched team like Haiti from earlier in the Tour.
U.S. coach Jill Ellis managed this match with an eye on the past by starting Boxx, the present by playing her regulars and the future by starting Crystal Dunn and introducing Samantha Mewis and Jaelene Hinkle as substitutes.
With four previous caps to her name Mewis was the veteran of the two, and both she and Hinkle, making her full national team debut, looked very much at home amid all the World Cup winners.
Ellis also left Abby Wambach on the bench and with fellow vet Christie Rampone unavailable with a slight knock, the future would seem to be rapidly overtaking the past in Ellis’ eyes.
The U.S. equalizer eventually came in the 85th minute, from Carli Lloyd, and you had to wonder if it was preordained.
The two newcomers were involved in the build up with Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe also playing a part. In the end it was atypical Lloyd goal, if there can be such a thing from such a wildly talented player.
Meghan Klingenberg worked hard to play the ball low into the box with the Brazilian defense looking the most likely to come up with the ball, until Lloyd with with typical -for her- effort outworked her opponent and buried her half chance off the underside of the crossbar.
Lloyd’s heroics ensured that the U.S. streak would continue, extending the run to 101 games (88-0-13). When was the last time the U.S. WNT lost at home? Nov. 6, 2004 in Philadelphia to Philadelphia.
Brazil will have another opportunity to beat the World Champions and to end that gaudy American streak, at the Orlando Citrus Bowl on Sunday Oct. 25, somewhat ironically the home of the Orlando Pride, coached by former U.S. manager Tom Sermanni.
Lauren Holiday and Lori Chalupny will be playing their final games in Orlando, with the 27 year old Holiday’s retirement especially sad for the U.S. and the women’s game in general.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
BRA 1 0 1
BRA – Monica (Andressinha) 3rd minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (Meghan Klingenberg) 85
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 5-Kelley O’Hara (26-Jaelene Hinkle, 71), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Julie Johnston, 22-Meghan Klingenberg (9-Heather O’Reilly, 85); 25-Crystal Dunn (29-Samantha Mewis, 72), 7-Shannon Boxx Spearman (17-Tobin Heath, 41), 14-Morgan Brian, 15-Megan Rapinoe; 10-Carli Lloyd, 13-Alex Morgan
Subs Not Used: 2-Sydney Leroux, 3-Christie Rampone, 6-Whitney Engen, 8-Amy Rodriguez,11-Ali Krieger,12-Lauren Holiday,16-Lori Chalupny,18-Ashlyn Harris, 20-Abby Wambach, 21-Alyssa Naeher, 23-Christen Press
Head coach: Jill Ellis
BRA: 1-Luciana, 2-Fabiana (16-Rafaela, 90+4), 3-Monica (14-Erika, 90+2), 4-Rafaelle, 5-Andressinha, 6-Tamires, 9-Andressa Alves, 10-Marta (capt.), 11-Cristiane (7-Beatriz, 84), 13-Poliana, 20-Formiga (17-Gabi Zanotti, 46)
Subs Not Used: 8-Thaisa, 12-Andreia, 15-Rilany, 18-Bia Vaz, 19-Raquel
Head coach: Oswaldo Alvarez
Stats Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 12 / 11
Shots on Goal: 4 / 6
Saves: 5 / 3
Corner Kicks: 9 / 4
Fouls: 12 / 8
Offside: 7 / 1
BRA – Rafaelle (caution) 65th minute