The U.S. Women’s National Team looked down and out after 80 minutes. By the 90th minute, the reigning world champions collected their first victory of the Tournament of Nations against Brazil in a seven-goal thriller at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday.
The game winner came courtesy of Julie Ertz, a substitute on the night, in the 89th minute. Carli Lloyd’s ball found the defensive midfielder in the box, and Ertz scored what was her first international goal not from a set piece with a slick finish to seal a 4-3 win for the USWNT.
While the end favored the U.S., the beginning was the opposite. The first of the seven goals of the night came from Brazil after just two minutes from Andressa, after the USWNT defense left her with space to take a shot on goal. From there, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher had a big blunder that allowed Andressa to score easily.
The U.S. leveled the score by minute 18, thanks to Samantha Mewis. Megan Rapinoe played a small pass to Mewis, who blasted the ball from outside of the penalty area for her fifth international goal.
The majority of the drama came in the second half, first through Betis’ go ahead goal in the 63rd minute. Andressa then grabbed a second in the 78th minute, scoring directly from a freekick yards from the penalty area.
The USWNT looked down and out at that point, having spent much of the match wasting opportunities and struggling to create chemistry because of head coach Jill Ellis’ experimentation. Yet, somehow, it took only nine minutes for them to mount their comeback, with Christen Press pulling one back two minutes after Andressa’s freekick. Rapinoe collected another assist as Press curled the ball past goalkeeper Barbara from close range.
In the 85th minute, Press returned the favor, finding Rapinoe barely in the penalty area. From a sharp angle, Rapinoe got a deserved goal in what was a standout performance for the midfielder. Soon came Ertz’s game winner, and that was that.
The match, while giving the USWNT its first points in the Tournament of Nations, also marked Sydney Leroux’s first match since June 2015, her first cap since welcoming a son last year.
The U.S. finishes the Tournament of Nations against Japan on Tuesday night at the StubHub Center.
Phew. My Oh My Jill Ellis can coach some bad soccer.
She really is worse – far worse – than Jurgen at getting some Bad Random Idea stuck in her head and hanging with it for far too long, and when she reverts to what’s actually effective you wonder what on Earth compelled her to mess with it to begin with.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The USA girls WERE the most dominant force the ladies’ game had seen until Ellis started monkeying with them.
I’m all for innovation, but know how your bread is buttered, and stick to it. Figure out how to add to it within the confines of being who you are. Otherwise all you’re doing is frustrating your players, ruining their confidence in the system, the coach, and one another, and degrading their identity as a team. It seems far too much that Ellis wants to “put her stamp” on this team as opposed to just letting them be the best version of themselves that they can be, which is more than good enough.
Also, how good was Megan Rapinoe again yesterday? Created a bunch of chances, assisted on the Press goal, and then scored her own, after a world class first touch to bring the ball down.
She’s also tearing up the NWSL.
Impressed how she’s bounced back from latest knee injury.
The USWNT missed about a zillion good chances pre-80th minute yesterday, but thankfully Brazil is mentally softer than puppy crap, and caved at the end. American willpower can be something, eh?
I agree with the idea of JJE as a holding mid going forward.
I know Ellis said Naeher was getting all three games, but it might not hurt to give Campbell a looksie vs. Japan. That was a brutally unsure-of-herself performance from AN yesterday.
It appeared yesterday that I was watching 2 different USWNT teams play. One for the first 80 minutes and the other for the last 10. It seemed that the change came about the time Julie Johnson Ertz entered the match. I think that it is about time that Julie move up to mid-field and give the U S the additional scoring punch it needs. There are enough good defenders available to keep the back line strong..
tough to evaluate much with the early lineup, with 2 CBs who’ve never paired and a holding mid who has never played there, and that shaky lineup played shaky ball and the US women played poorly. Lloyd’s comments along with those of the Australian players that teams don’t fear the US any more is on Ellis for all her experimenting. when she finally played a cohesive lineup the team exploded for that finish. Ertz as holding mid with Sauerbrun back where she should be at CB looked awesome.
Ellis wants these tougher games for her club to keep pace with the Euro championships which give Euro clubs that opportunity, but if she uses them to inflate the belief in opponents that they can beat the US, wtf? I hope Ellis fields our strongest lineup for Japan
The US players who were on the field for the thrilling explosion at the end deserve all the credit for climbing off the mat and putting the fear back into Brazil, and restoring their swagger that their own coach had messed with