Two FIFA giants went head-to-head last night at North Fort Lauderdale’s intimate DRV PNK Stadium in a match that was billed as a not so friendly, friendly.
Over sixteen thousand football fans were on hand to watch FIFA’S No. 1 ranked United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) take on their counterparts from Germany who rank third in the FIFA standings.
From the first whistle to the last in stoppage time the two juggernauts raced up and down the pristine pitch, and so, straight at each other and their opposing goals.
The Lady Yanks launched 18 shots, including header attempts by Lindsey Horan and Taylor Kornieck, and shots by the fleet-footed duo of Sophia Smith and Mallory Pugh.
Only Megan Rapinoe’s second half rocket-of-a-shot found the back-of-the-net in the U.S.’s 2-1 loss.
The Deutsche Fußballnationalmannschaft der Frauen team got off 17 sharp shots.
The more assertive Germans also hammered away at the penetrating U.S. forwards the entire evening and earned 13 fouls while they were trying to keep the head strong Yanks at bay.
At the end of the night, Germany’s four shots on target trumped the Stars and Stripes three, as two found their way into the back of the net.
Ultimately, the Germans rode off in their luxury busses with handsome a 2-1 victory and a bolus of satisfaction, as they dealt Team USA its first loss in 71 games on American topsoil.
The U.S. had just come-off two consecutive losses during their trips to England and Spain. England manhandled the United States 2-1, while Spain finessed a 2-0 win.
Prior to the game, Sophia Smith stated “We are very hungry for a win coming off two losses. That hasn’t happened in a very long time and it’s not the best feeling.”
That not-so-best-feeling will linger for another three days until the two opponents square-off again in Harrison, New Jersey this Sunday night.
Here in Fort Lauderdale, Lindsey Horan had a wonderful chance to score for the States in the 35th minute. Rose Lavelle spotted Horan on the run Her follow-on shot hit the underside of the crossbar and then fell straight down, but never crossed the goal line.
Rose, the Creator @USWNT's @roselavelle with a filthy nutmeg! pic.twitter.com/N1DcVIQvgr— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 11, 2022
Horan’s attempts were followed up by glowing efforts from Mallory Pugh and Sophia Smith.
The Real Colorado products zigged and zagged throughout the 18-yard box.
Pugh even made a valiant sprint at the goal, out foxed her mark and shot a misile at the charging goaltender Merle Frohms, the distinguished footballer who plays for the Frauen-Bundesliga club. She made a brilliant save, one of numerous head-on stops throughout the breezy evening.
Sophia Smith matched Pugh’s efforts from her flank on the right side of the pitch. Regrettably, her attempts to score were also thwarted by the Germany’s resilient backline.
In the second half, Horan was at it again. She rose like a Colorado Rush Soccer Club phoenix to greet a crossing ball and tried an aerodynamic bicycle kick on goal
Her dramatic attempt bounced went off the left post.
@LindseyHoran with a ✂️ kick pic.twitter.com/EWggvYUk7W— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 11, 2022
Unfortunately, the rebound set up Germany’s first goal as the ball sailed down field and the Germans were off to the races after it.
U.S. goalkeeper Casey Murphy made a world-class save on the breakaway shot, but another rebound in the sequence of unfortunate events found Germany’s incoming Klara Buhl. She made an attempt to score, however, her hard shot hit the post, but then bounced off Murphy’s backside into the goal for a painful own goal and jeers from the local fans.
The Yanks finally scored in the 85th minute of play. Alex Morgan blocked a Germany clearance attempt then collected the loose ball and crossed low into the middle of the penalty box. She served up Rapinoe a perfect pass that rolled fast across the mouth of goal. The unmanned Rapinoe, who had entered as a substitute for Mallory Pugh, unleashed a bullet that finally put the U.S. on the scoreboard and tie-up the rugged showdown.
It was Rapinoe’s first goal for the USA in over a year and the 63rd goal of her international career.
@alexmorgan13 ➡️@mPinoe@USWNT equalizes at 1-1! pic.twitter.com/sO31FD6zwU— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 11, 2022
Minutes later, Paulina Krumbiegel recorded the game-winner for Germany. The Germans then built a defensive wall that the Lady Yanks could not breach even in stoppage time.
⏱ 90. Min. + 4— DFB-Frauen (@DFB_Frauen) November 11, 2022
WAS FÜR EIN SPIEL!
Wer ist noch wach? Macht LÄRM!
WIR #IMTEAM #USAGER ⚽️ 1:2
DFB/Thomas Böcker pic.twitter.com/jIGhKLbKi5
Both sides are now in northern New Jersey, regrouping and preparing for their rematch.
The U.S. will then break up and open their next camp in New Zealand in January. The USWNT will train forvsix days before facing the Ferns on January 18 at Sky Stadium in Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara.
Their outing down under will be highlighted by two matches against the Football Ferns, the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup co-hosts with neighbor Australia.
The U.S. will then host the 2023 SheBelieves Cup, all in their continuing efforts to build up for the summer Women’s World Cup Tournament.
The host city for the SheBelieves Cup event has not been announced.