The International Tournament of Brasilia didn’t get off to the best starts for the United States women’s national team, as they mimicked their male counterparts by giving up a late goal in a sparsely-attended 1-1 draw.
Carli Lloyd’s 22nd minute goal gave the USWNT the upper hand against their 1999 World Cup final rivals, but Hang Peng’s 66th minute goal did the trick to earn China a share of the points in front of just 300 fans at the Mane Garrincha.
China is ranked No. 14 in the world, compared to the top-ranked Yanks, and was beaten 2-0 and 3-0 in a pair of US-based friendlies this April. But Wednesday in Brazil was different.
The Americans struggled to control possession and China had most of the dangerous scoring opportunities throughout the match in the Brazilian capital. Neither team had many significant chances to break the deadlock, although the Americans complained of a hand ball by a Chinese defender inside the penalty area near the end of the game.
The top two teams after round-robin play will meet for the title on Dec. 21. The other two nations will play for third place.
The U.S. will face Brazil on Sunday and Argentina on Dec. 17. All matches will be played in Brasilia.
Not a good start at all for the States, coming off a first-place showing in the CONCACAF Championship
Having failed in a tournament this year, a surprising 7th place finish at the Algarve Cup under Tom Sermanni, certainly the USWNT will want to again reiterate their status as the top team in the world with a stronger showing the rest of the way.
This is the States second tourney since Jill Ellis was named coach. Ellis’ record is now 15W-4D-0L leading the team as interim or full-time coach.