Late Game Heroics Put the USWNT over Brazil 4-3


On Sunday afternoon, the USWNT took on Brazil in Game 2 of the Tournament of Nations. In typical US-Brazil fashion, it was exciting all the way until the end. Andressinha opened the scoring for Brazil in the 2nd minute and Julie Ertz scored the final goal of the game in the 89th minute. For the second time this year, the US walked away with a win at home against a Top 10 opponent.

Things did not start off well for the US when Andressinha ripped a shot off from more than 30 yards out just a minute into the game. It seemed as if US goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher had stopped the shot, but it slipped through her hands and over the goal line. This was one of a number of poor goalkeeping moments in this game. While this was a serious gaffe, Naeher is still the number one option in goal (sorry, Hope fans, she’s not coming back).

It didn’t take long for the US to even the score up, though. Sam Mewis took a hard shot that stayed steady along the pitch (and was helped along by a deflection by a Brazilian defender) to beat Barbara and even the score at 1-1. Despite getting a boot to the face in Game 1 of the tournament, Mewis got the start and it paid off. And she seemed to play a lot better without Allie Long by her side.

Just when it seemed the US had gotten their feet back underneath them, though, Marta delivered a perfect ball to the back post where Bruna Benites was left unmarked. Benites headed the ball into the wide open net to give Brazil the lead once again. And only 15 minutes later, in the 78th minute, Andressinha put a free kick from 24 yards out just inside the left post.

It seemed as if Brazil would finally get their first win over the Americans on US soil, but Christen Press had other ideas. In the 80th minute, after receiving a pass from Megan Rapinoe, Press spun off her defender and tucked the ball past Barbara to bring the US within one. Five minutes later, Press would return the favor when she played a cross field pass to find a streaking Rapinoe at the left post. Rapinoe snuck the ball past Barbara at the near post to tie the game at 3-3.

What would a US-Brazil game be without a goal in the waning moments of a match? In the 89th minute, Kelley O’Hara played a ball across the box where a number of US players were waiting. Carli Lloyd slid onto the ball but ended up deflecting it away from the goal. Julie Ertz was in the right place at the right time as the ball landed at her feet. Ertz blasted the ball over the goal line to give the US a 4-3 lead with very little time remaining. This was Ertz’s first goal for the US that did not come from her head.

The NWSL was on great display in San Diego as every player that scored or assisted on either side is a member of the NWSL. In the first game of the day between Japan and Australia, Australia and Sky Blue forward Sam Kerr netted a first-half hat-trick.

The US returns to action on Thursday, August 3 when they take on Japan in the final game of the Tournament of Nations. Australia will win the first ever installment of the tournament with if they win or draw Brazil on Thursday.