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U.S. WNT vs. Japan: In-Game Blog


Staff member
Welcome to today’s In-Game Blog for the Volvo Winners Cup match between the U.S. Women’s National Team and Japan. We’ll have all the information on this game for the USA, including lineups and in-game notes from Halmstad, Sweden.

1-Hope Solo; 6-Amy LePeilbet, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 19-Rachel Buehler, 5-Kelley O’Hara; 15-Megan Rapinoe, 7-Shannon Boxx, 12-Lauren Cheney, 17-Tobin Heath; 13-Alex Morgan, 20-Abby Wambach

Pre-Game Notes:
  • The U.S. and Japan have played each other 28 previous times, with the USA posting 22-1-5 record. One of those ties included the eventual penalty kick shootout loss to Japan on July 17, 2011, in the FIFA Women’s World Cup after playing to a 2-2 draw through regulation and overtime.
  • The USA most recently played Japan to a 1-1 draw on April 1 of this year in the first game of the Kirin Challenge Cup in Sendai, Japan. U.S. forward Alex Morgan scored the equalizer with 17 minutes remaining to salvage the draw.
  • The U.S. and Japan, who are both preparing for the 2012 London Olympics, have faced each other three times in Olympic competition, with the U.S. winning all three meetings.
  • The USA topped Japan 2-1 on Aug. 20, 2004, in Thessaloniki, Greece, in the quarterfinals of the Olympics. Then the U.S. won twice against Japan during the 2008 Olympics in China – a 1-0 victory on Aug. 9 during the group stage, followed by a 4-2 win on Aug. 18 in the semifinals to advance to the gold medal match against Brazil. In that semifinal game, Angela Hucles scored twice for the U.S. and Heather O’Reilly’s 70th-minute tally for a 3-1 lead proved to be the game-winning goal.
  • The 2011 FIFA World Cup Final, played in Frankfurt, Germany, included two different U.S. leads when Morgan notched a 69th-minute goal and Abby Wambach a 104th-minute goal in the first of two 15-minute overtimes. But Japan’s Aya Miyama (80th minute) and Homare Sawa (117th minute) had the answers, and Japan pulled through in the game-ending shootout for its first World Cup crown.
  • The USA suffered its first regulation loss against Japan on March 5, 2012, as Japan earned a 1-0 win and finished atop Group B at the 2012 Algarve Cup. The U.S. had to settle for the tournament’s third-place match, and the U.S. Women rebounded well with a strong 4-0 victory against Sweden.


And we're underway between the USA and Japan...

3rd min., GOAL for the USA from leading goalscorer Alex Morgan; Tobin Heath with the assist. It's Morgan's 16th goal for the year -- Morgan shot from the left side, near post

7th min., USA threatening again, but Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori gets to the ball before Morgan can at the top of the box

10th min., GOAL for the USA from Abby Wambach for a 2-0 lead; Megan Rapinoe with the cross in from the left side and Wambach sticks her foot out to redirect in the six-yard box

13th min., Japan with its first offensive threat of the game following a corner kick, but they push the ball wide left - Yuki Nagasato with the attempt

24th min., yellow card for Rachel Buehler

26th min., GOAL for Japan, Yuki Nagasato with the header near left side, assisted by Japan captain Aya Miyama -- USA leads 2-1 now

28th min., Abby Wambach with a shot up close but Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori with a big save to her left

30th min., USA's Alex Morgan with shot that deflects off right post, Abby Wambach tries to follow but it goes right to Ayumi Kaihori for the save

41st min., Abby Wambach challenges from the left side, but her attempt hits the outside of the netting

45th min., Abby Wambach with another attempt from deep, goes right to Kaihori for the save

HALFTIME: USA 2, Japan 1

Second half subs for the U.S.: defender Becky Sauerbrunn in for Rachel Buehler, and Carli Lloyd comes into the game for Megan Rapinoe

54th min., good effort with Tobin Heath's cross to Abby Wambach converging, she tried to find Morgan but couldn't quite connect

59th min., Alex Morgan's shot from the right goes over the crossbar

61st min., GOAL for USA, Alex Morgan with her second tally of the match with a strong individual effort from the right side, fired to the left of the frame for a 3-1 lead

Three subs for the U.S.: Heather O'Reilly comes into the game for Lauren Cheney in the 68th minute, and Amy Rodriguez for Alex Morgan and Heather Mitts for Amy LePeilbet in the 69th

70th min., powerful shot from Japan's Mizuho Sakaguchi, hits crossbar and goes over

75th min., Hope Solo with a save against Japan's Aya Miyama. Solo punches it away to concede a corner kick

80th min., Carli Lloyd with the steal in the midfield, takes a shot but just misses the frame.

81st min., Sydney Leroux into the match for Kelley O'Hara

86th min., Carli Lloyd's strikes, but goes directly to Ayumi Kaihori for the save

Four minutes of stoppage time

90+2 min., GOAL by USA's Abby Wambach. really difficult header, stays low to the ground, Heather O'Reilly assists from the right 4-1 USA

FINAL: USA 4, Japan 1

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