U.S. women survive to earn draw with Japan

Japan won't be going to the Rio Olympics, but it showed why it is still one of the best women's teams in the world as it held the USA to a 3-3 tie in Commerce City, Colorado, taking a 2-0 lead after 22 minutes and then recovering from going down 3-2 and losing captain Yuki Ogimi with a red card to equalize on Kumi Yokoyama's goal in stoppage time.

The 2-0 deficit marked the first time the USA trailed by two goals at home in almost 12 years.

Mana Iwabuchi's shot from distance and Ogimi's goal gave the Japanese a 2-0 edge they held until Alex Morgan scored the first of two goals just before halftime. Morgan then equalized midway through the second half after Japan had been reduced to 10 players due to Ogimi being ejected for a second bookable offense.

Lindsey Horan came off the bench and scored what appeared would be the winning goal in her Colorado homecoming in the 89th minute, but Yokoyama was put through by Mizuho Sakaguchi and evened the score at 3-3 three minutes in stoppage time.

The draw ended the USA's 11-game winning streak to begin the year. The three goals the U.S. women allowed were the most in a game since a 3-2 loss to Brazil in December 2014, the only other time in the Jill Ellis era they have allowed more than two goals.

The USA and Japan turn around and meet on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.

June 2 in Commerce City, Colorado
USA 3 Japan 3. Goals: Morgan 27, 64, Horan 89; Iwabuchi 14, Ogimi 22, Yokoyama 90+3.
USA -- Solo; O'Hara, Johnston, Sauerbrunn, Klingenberg (Krieger, 74); Brian (Horan, 61), Long, Pugh; Dunn (Press, 61), Morgan, Heath (Mewis, 84)
Japan -- Yamashita; Ariyoshi, Muramatsu, Kumagai, Sasak (Nakasato, 81); Nakajima, Sakaguchi, Utsugi (Kawamura, 46), Ogimi, Chiba (Masuya, 62), Iwabuchi (Yokoyama, 56).
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2 comments about "U.S. women survive to earn draw with Japan".
  1. Carl Hudson, June 3, 2016 at 11:10 a.m.

    Why does the coach pick losers for the squad, and then play them? I'm talking about the useless Morgan Brian and Long,
    and the questionable Dunn, Klingenberg and Heath.

    When they FINALLY removed a couple of the useless ones, the team started to click in the last 30 minutes.

    And what's with this constant "back to the keeper" stuff? To me it shows lack of confidence.

  2. Miguel Dedo, June 3, 2016 at 12:38 p.m.

    Oops. The USA, a good team with no particular interest in the game. Had the US back-up keeper been in the nets for Japan the score would have been 3-0.

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