United States, Japan draw 1-1 at Kirin Cup
Alex Morgan scored in the 72nd minute to give the United States
a 1-1 draw with Japan, the team it lost to in the final of the
Women’s World Cup last year.
Yukari Kinga beat goalkeeper Hope Solo from close in to give
Japan a 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute of the Kirin Cup match.
The U.S. created opportunities on the right wing, but Japan’s
superior speed was dangerous on the counterattack.
The exhibition tournament features three of the top four teams
in the world. The U.S. is ranked No. 1 just ahead of Germany, while
Japan is No. 3. The other team competing for the title, Brazil, is
”I told them to keep pushing until the end,” Japan coach Norio
Sasaki said. ”We could have used more precision in our
The U.S. women’s squad went into the game with a big score to
Until the World Cup, it had never lost to Japan – and the
Americans haven’t beaten Japan since. Japan won the last encounter
1-0 in Portugal last month.
”This was a very important game for us,” U.S. coach Pia
Sundhage said. ”I’m very happy we had the chance to play against
one of the best teams in the world, Japan, to prepare for the
Sundhage said the game showed the team still has a lot of
building to do.
”It was way too defensive in the first half,” Sundhage said.
”We didn’t look as good as we did in the World Cup.”
The U.S. plays Brazil on Tuesday. The final game – Brazil versus
Japan – is on Thursday.