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.