Red Bulls Arena—–The U.S Women’s national team beat Germany 2-1 on a very cold night at Red Bull Arena with 26,117 in attendance in Harrison, New Jersey. They bounced back from a 2-1 defeat to Germany just a few days ago in Fort Lauderdale.
The night started highlighting the 200th appearance with the national team for star forward Alex Morgan.
Mallory Pugh scored the go-ahead goal in the 56th minute and team United States avoided a fourth straight loss with a late comeback.
Sophia Smith in the 54th minute also scored for the top-ranked United States, which went into the match at Red Bull Arena with its first three-game losing streak since 1993.
USA struggled to deal with the vistors’ high-intensity play and gave up a goal 18 minutes in, when Jule Brand smashed the ball in the back of the net. Although Germany had plenty of chances in the first half, they couldn’t add any more points.
The Referee gave yellow cards to Sophia Kleinherne and Kathrin Heindrich in both halves.
Both teams are focused as the FIFA Women’s World Cup is approaching in the Summer of 2023. The U.S is the reigning champion, having won the tournament two straight times in 2015 and 2019.
The deficit marked the fourth straight game the United States had gave a goal first.
That loss snapped a 71-game unbeaten streak for the United States on home soil, stretching back to a loss to Australia in July 2017.
“I felt the whole game was they do something, we adjust, and we do something, they adjust. So it felt like a chess match and it was a great, great challenge for the players,” U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski said.
The United States has won the past two women’s World Cups and has four titles overall. Germany is the only other team to win multiple women’s World Cups, with titles in 2003 and 2007.
The United States has revamped its roster since its bronze-medal finish at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Head coach Vlatko Andonovski has brought in younger players, including Smith, 22 and Pugh, 24.
Smith has 11 goals for the USWNT this year and is the youngest player since Mia Hamm in 1993.
“We had a good start to the game, the 30-plus minutes were really good. They were really present on the pitch and made good decisions, and then we had a cut when Lena was injures, which was hard for the team,” Germany coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said through a translator.
The United States heads to New Zealand in January for training camp and a pair of exhibitions against the Kiwis on Jan. 18 and Jan. 21, both in stadiums where the Americans will play during the group stage of the World Cup.