Morgan scores to save 1-1 tie for US vs. China

Alex Morgan scored her first international goal in the 83rd

minute to give the United States a 1-1 draw with China in an

exhibition game Wednesday night.

Ma Jun sent a cross from Zhou Gaoping past U.S. goalkeeper

Nicole Barnhart in the 37th minute. Barnhart is playing because of

a shoulder injury that has sidelined starter Hope Solo.

Abby Wambach assisted on Morgan’s goal to help the U.S. finished

an 11-game tour ahead of World Cup qualifying with a 9-0-2

record.

”I wouldn’t say it was nerve-wracking out there, but I would

say it was frustrating at times,” Wambach said. ”China kind of

took it to us early and we missed on some passes. We came together

at the end and Alex scored a huge goal. It was big-time and gave us

confidence leaving this match.”

The United States hasn’t lost to China since falling 2-0 at the

2003 Four Nations Tournament, and hasn’t lost on American soil

since a 3-1 loss to Denmark on Nov. 6, 2004.

”I’m very happy about the result, and it was a lesson

learned,” U.S. coach Pia Sundhage said. ”You always want to win.

That’s why you’re playing. I’m a positive person and I always look

at the positives even though we didn’t win the game.”

Qualifying for the 2011 tournament begins Oct. 28 in Cancun,

Mexico, for teams from North America, Central America and the

Caribbean. The U.S. will face Haiti, Guatemala and Costa Rica in

the group stage of the tournament.