USWNT open Algarve Cup with draw vs. rival Japan

USA's Sydney Leroux (R) celebrates with her teammates after scoring against Japan on Wednesday.  

FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images

The United States women’s national team opened their 2014 Algarve Cup campaign with a 1-1 draw against defending FIFA World Cup champions Japan in the first Group B match on Wednesday.

Sydney Leroux scored USA’s lone goal in the 59th minute, beating Japan goalkeeper Erina Yamane and slotting home an open rebound with ease. Leroux came close of adding another goal in the 73rd minute, with her shot bouncing off the left post.

Japan would later equalize in the 83rd minute with Aya Miyama scoring a free kick 35 yards out past USA goalkeeper Hope Solo into the upper right corner. Japan received the questionable call after Becky Sauerbrunn was called for a hand ball wile attempting to block a shot with her chest.

The United States will face Sweden next on March 7 in Albufeira, Portugal in a match that will have mark the first time the Americans will face former manager Pia Sundhage.

Lineups:

United States: Hope Solo, Ali Krieger, Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), Whitney Engen, Stephanie Cox; Heather O’Reilly (Tobin Heath, 73), Morgan Brian (Kristie Mewis, 73), Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press, Sydney Leroux.

Japan: Erina Yamane; Yukari Kinga, Azusa Iwashimizu, Saki Kumagai, Saori Ariyoshi Aya Sameshima, Mizuho Sakaguchi (Nanase Kiryu, 68), Aya Miyama (capt.), Nahomi Kawasumi (Mana Iwabuchi, 59), Homare Sawa (Rumi Utsugi, 76), Shinobu Ohno, Yuki Ogimi (Megumi Takase, 76).