WINNIPEG, Canada (Sporting Alert) — Megan Rapinoe scored twice and Christen Press added a third and the USA slipped past Australia 3-1 in their FIFA Women’s World Cup Group D opener in the Investors Group Field here in Winnipeg, Canada on Monday night.
“I don’t think we played particularly well in the first half. But I was pleased that we grew in the game, USA coach Jill Ellis said.
“The fan support was phenomenal. Our players settled in in the second half, which was much better. That’s something we can build upon.”
The Americans took the lead from a Rapinoe deflected shot in the 12th minute of play, but Australia answered back through skipper Lisa De Vanna, 15 minutes later.
Australia, who forced three first half saves out of USA’s goalkeeper Hope Solo, dominated for much of the first half, but were unable to grab another goal.
After the interval, USA took over the game and netted two more goals – with Press scoring the go-head strike in the 61st minute before Rapinoe wrap things up with 12-minutes left in the game.
A couple bits of class in the end from Rapinoe changed the game. They deserve their victory,” said Australia coach Alan Stajcic.
“I’m really proud of our players. I thought they put in a good performance but it’s not enough.
“We need to regroup and improve for the next game…It’s still a long way to go.”
With the win, the Stars and Stripes rushed to the top of Group D with three points, with Sweden and Nigeria played to a 3-3 draw in the earlier fixture on one point each.
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After the Group D game 1 thriller between Sweden and Nigeria, which ended 3-3, the United States and Australia will take the Investors Group Field here in Winnipeg, Canada for the second game of the group.
Please don’t forget that live coverage of this game can be seen on Fox Sports 1 USA, as well as on TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5 and BBC Two. Game time is at 7:30 p.m. ET. (6:30 local time).
The Americans come into today’s game ranked second in the world, while the Australians are 10th in the FIFA Women’s world rankings.
The Stars and Stripes, making their seventh appearance in the tournament, have won the FIFA Women’s World Cup twice and hunt their third hold on the illustrious trophy.
USA XI: Solo, Leroux, Sauerbrunn, Lloyd, Krieger, Holiday, Rapinoe, Johnston, Wambach (C), Klingenberg, Press.
Australia XI: Barbieri, Alleway, Uzunlar, Catley, Kellond-Knight, Foord, Van Egmond, De Vanna (C), Gorry, Kerr, Heyman