The U.S. Women’s National team’s World Cup victory tour made it’s way to the Emerald City Wednesday night and the match between two of the women’s games biggest rivals did not disappoint as the U.S. Women’s National team and the Brazilian National team played to an entertaining 1-1 draw.
While it was supposed to be a lovefest between the U.S. WNT and its 23,603 adoring fans who set an attendance record for a soccer game in the State of Washington, it was the Brazilian team who scored an early goal and put fans and opposition on notice that they came for business and were in no mood for fun and games. Brazilian defender Monica headed in a Marta corner kick and the visitors where up 1-0 after just three minutes of play. Point made.
“Taking nothing from them, I thought that we played well and we just made one mistake,” U.S. Coach Jill Ellis said after the game.
With the early goal the Brazilian’s continued to press forward and the U.S. team countered with its own attacking style making for a physical match in the middle of the field with both teams fighting for every minute of possession.
The Brazilians were the more composed of the two teams due to intricate passes that created space for forwards Cristiane and Marta who alternated between playing the nine position and the traditional ten spot up front. While it was tested by Brazil’s sophisticated play, the U.S. backline held its ground and kept the visitors from finding another goal.
The U.S. team had multiple chances in the first half with NWSL Golden Boot winner and league MVP Crystal Dunn serving goal worthy crosses that looked promising but in the end were found wanting. Alex Morgan had several good looks on goal but none of her shots was able to find the back of the Brazilian goal.
The U.S. continued to push forward and the breakthrough goal came in the 85th minute, when substitute Meghan Klingenberg beat a pair of defenders by dashing towards the end line and sent in a cross that Carli Lloyd hammered home to tie the game.
With the draw, the U.S. WNT extended its home unbeaten streak to 101 games (88-0-13). The last loss at home came to Denmark on Nov. 6, 2004 in Philadelphia. The game was also the last match for U.S. soccer great Shannon Boxx. Boxx started the game and earned her 195th career cap. Boxx was honored for her achievements with the USA before the match and also wore the captain’s arm band. Boxx retires as World Cup and three-time Olympic champion.