US Women’s National Team concede late, draw 1-1 with Japan in Algarve Cup opener

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The United States Women’s National Team conceded late to draw 1-1 with Japan in their opening match at the 2014 Algarve Cup.

Sydney Leroux opened the scoring for the Stars & Stripes in the 59th minute when she ran down Japan goalkeeper Erina Yamane to block her clearance and slot home the rebound with ease.

The US looked primed to take all three points but the reigning World Cup champions fought back to equalize in the 82nd minute.

Japan midfielder Aya Miyama stepped to a free kick from 30 yards out, sending in a floated ball that US goalkeeper Hope Solo could only get a hand on, deflecting the ball into the side netting.

The result will be a disappointing one for Tom Sermanni’s side after having controlled the majority of the match and outshooting Japan by a 20-8 margin. Nevertheless, the draw preserves the US unbeaten streak, which now stands at 43 games.

The FIFA No. 1 ranked US team has won the Algarve Cup nine times in the past, including a 2-0 victory against Germany in last year’s title match. Next up for the Yanks is a game with No. 6 ranked Sweden this Friday.