Women’s World Cup: Megan Rapinoe Leads USWNT Past Australia 3-1

USWNT's Megan Rapinoe celebrates after leading her side to a 3-1 win over Australia in Group D. Source: Getty Images.
USWNT's Megan Rapinoe celebrates after leading her side to a 3-1 win over Australia in Group D. Source: Getty Images. /

Starring performance from Megan Rapinoe led USWNT to a win in their opening encounter. Scott Sinclair reviews the action…

It wasn’t pretty, but powered by Megan Rapinoe’s two goals, the USWNT began their quest for World Cup victory by defeating Australia 3-1.

Rapinoe scored twice, in the match’s twelfth and seventy-eighth minutes, while Cristen Press added a tally in the sixty-first minute with an assist by Sydney Leroux, to cap the scoring for the USA.  For Australia, team Captain Lisa DeVanna scored in the twenty-seventh minute to even things up, before Press and Rapinoe helped the US pull away.

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Overall it was a lackluster effort by the USWNT, as they were outplayed by a fast and tough Aussie side for the most of the first half. The Australian’s speed was definitely an issue for the American defense, as has been the case all year for Jill Ellis’ squad. Embattled goalie Hope Solo made two huge saves in the opening half to keep her team from falling behind. The first came just five minutes into the match when Solo went into a full stretch to stop a shot, which still managed to glance off the top of the crossbar. Her second key save came eight minutes later, where she stopped a Samantha Kerr shot from almost point blank range.

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A second troubling fact for the USA, was the ineffectiveness of Midfielder Carli Lloyd, who usually is a dynamo in the middle. The Aussie’s kept Lloyd bottled up for most of the day, keeping her a non factor in the match.  Save for Rapinoe, the entire USA side made mistakes and just looked flat overall. She took it upon herself to dictate play, while keeping the Matilda’s off balance. She exuded a confidence that the rest of her teammates did not.

Still, three points are three points and Rapinoe & Co. will take it. However, Ellis must find a way for her side to eliminate mistakes, gain and maintain possession with more regularity and how to combat faster opponents. With Friday’s match against Sweden next up, the USWNT must find keys to a decisive victory, one that will make a statement to the rest of the field of twenty-two. Germany and defending champs Japan loom as the biggest  potential roadblocks, but a stumble against Sweden and/or Nigeria could derail any title hopes the USA has. Time for this squad to wake up, the whole soccer world is watching.


United States: Hope Solo; Ali Krieger, Becky Sauerbrunn, Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg; Christen Press (Tobin Heath 68′), Lauren Holiday, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe (Morgan Brian 87′); Sydney Leroux (Alex Morgan 79′), Abby Wambach

Goals: Rapinoe (12′, 78′), Press (61′)

Australia: Melissa Barbieri; Laura Alleway (Ashleigh Sykes 83′), Servet Uzunlar, Steph Catley, Elise Kellond-Knight; Caitlin Foord, Emily Van Egmond, Katrina Gorry (Allana Kennedy 80′); Samantha Kerr, Michele Heyman (Kyah Simon 68′), Lisa De Vanna

Goals: De Vanna (27′)