United States hits Japan 4 goals to 2.
By: Carlos Chicas
Photos: Walfri Rhodes
2018 Tournament of Nations start with the participation of the national teams of the United States, Japan, Brazil, and the Champion Australia. In a Thursday night match, a double header between Brazil and Australia followed by the United States against Japan. The uncertainty was that so many fans would be present at the Blue Hell and support their teams but in particular the team of the Stars and Stripes.
In the first match Australia was superior to Brazil and ended up winning by a score of three goals to one. The Australian goals were scored by Elise Kellond-Knight (own goal), Tamke Butt, and Sam Kerr. Discounted by Brazil Debinha.
In mixed zone Sam Kerr who is also nominated for the best player of this year said “The weather didn’t affect us much during the first half, we played in worse conditions. For me it is an honor to be in the group of players mentioned to win the award for best player of the year, but I do not play football to achieve this type of recognition. ”
Australian goalkeeper Lydia Williams got one of the best saves of the afternoon and when Brazil was playing better and avoided keeping her goal intact for the first 45 minutes of the game. “I think we were following the ball a lot, Marta is a very good player, she is always creative at any time, the goals Brazil had scored on us, always had something to do with Marta. Now we have to recover and be ready for Sunday’s game against the United States. ”
In the second game of the afternoon and maybe the most anticipated, and with a sold out he stadium. The more than 18 thousand fans who were present at Sporting Park would not be disappointed, and what an afternoon for Alex Morgan who would score a hat trick on his personal account.
Game summary: The United States National Team would be up on the scoreboard via Alex Morgan 1-0 after the great pass of the # 15 Megan Rapinoe at the 18th minute. But Japan would respond quickly to the draw after a counterattack by # 11 Mina Tanaka and between two defenders chip the ball over the American goalkeeper for the 1-1. At 25th minute of the first half after a great play and great ball control would give Morgan again and opportunitiy to put the ball in the net and with her head, Morgan would put the 2-1.
In the second half, Alex Morgan’s with her left foot would finish inside the area for 3-1. The Japanese would be fulminated after Megan Rapinoe leaked between the defense and put the 4-1. Japan would discount on the part of # 15 Moreno Sakaguchi for the 4-2.
In mixed zone Alex Morgan said “Japan is a team that likes to maintain possession of the ball and we knew how to take advantage of the opportunities. The fans here in Kansas City always support us and it’s good to play with a full stadium. We had not play here in two years and it was good to be back. Having scored three goals here was very good, I do not remember the last time I I had a hat trick. ”
Megan Rapinoe added: “I think we played better, there are things that we need to improve in the attack, we have to have more patience and maintain possession of the ball, we managed to score our opportunities when we attacked, I feel very good and happy and ready for the next game against Australia. Morgan had a good night; I wish I could score three goals in a game. “Concluded the veteran player for Team USA.
The four teams will return to action on Sunday July 29. Brazil will face Japan and the United States will play Australia.