CLEVELAND, Ohio (June 5, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Japan 2-0 on goals from Julie Johnston and Alex Morgan in front of 23,535 fans – a record attendance for a WNT game in the State of Ohio – in a match that was abandoned in the 76th minute due to inclement weather.
After a thrilling 3-3 draw last Thursday in the teams’ first meeting since the historic 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, the USA put in a dominant performance in the second leg of this two-game set, controlling large swaths of the game and generating numerous goal scoring opportunities while holding firm defensively. The USA held Japan to just two shots on goal.
Johnston scored what proved to be the game-winner in the 27th minute with her eighth career goal, all of set plays, before Morgan capped things off in the 62nd with her team leading 11th goal of 2016.
With the U.S. in control of the match, both teams began introducing numerous second half substitutions, but after playing almost the entire match under sunny skies, the weather abruptly took a turn for the worse and in the 76th minute the match officials were forced to send the players back to the locker room due to lightning and heavy rain. After a long delay, and with more bad weather rolling in, the matched was called off.
U.S. Soccer is awaiting final word from FIFA as to whether the match and all the statistics will count as official.
The U.S. WNT will finish its preparations for the 2016 Olympics in Rio next month, beginning with the first match in team history against South Africa at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 9 (12 p.m. CT; FS1). The team will play a second match later in July against an as yet to be announced opponent before departing for the Olympics.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Julie Johnston (Allie Long), 27th minute: The U.S. won a free kick near the right sideline just inside Japan’s half of the field that Morgan Brian sent toward the top of the penalty area. Ami Sugita miss-hit her attempted clearance and the ball fell to Megan Klingenberg, who tapped it back into the left side of the penalty area to Allie Long. Long dribbled into the box before whipping a low cross to the far post where Johnston had gotten in front of her marker to easily redirect the ball into the net. USA 1, JPN 0 (SEE GOAL)
USA – Alex Morgan (Crystal Dunn), 62nd minute: Julie Johnston sent a long ball over the Japan backline down the right wing for Crystal Dunn to run onto. Dunn sprinted into the attacked third and spun a first-time cross low across the face of goal for Alex Morgan who slipped between a pair of Japan defenders to redirect the ball into the roof of the net for the game-capping goal. USA 2, JPN 0 (SEE GOAL) FINAL
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
JPN – Erina Yamane, 1st minute: The USA came flying out of the gates from the opening whistle and immediately put Japan’s defense under pressure. Crystal Dunn got down the right flank and picked out Christen Press, who was cutting into the box. Press saw her point blank shot saved by on rushing Japan goalkeeper. The rebound fell to Alex Morgan in the middle of the penalty area and her goal-bound shot hit teammate Allie Long. The USA got another crack at goal, but it was cleared away by a defender with Yamane still finding her footing after making the initial save.
JPN – Erina Yamane, 8th minute: Christen Press got in behind the Japan defense down its left flank and cut past a defender before centering the ball for Allie Long, who was making a trailing run out of midfield. Long had a good look at goal, but her low shot right at Yamane who was able to get down and smother.
JPN – Erin Yamane, 46th minute: Alex Morgan muscled her way past a Japan defender to earn a one-vs.-one chance and after creating a bit of space for herself, she unleashed a dipping shot from just outside the penalty area that required Yamane to reach at full stretch in order to it palm away and keep the U.S. from moving further ahead early in the second half.
Next on the Schedule: The U.S. WNT returns to action when it meets South Africa for a friendly for the first time in team history at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 9 (12 p.m. CT; FS1).
- Hope Solo, who earned her 196th cap, earned the 99th shutout of her career, and with two games left before the Olympics, could become the first goalkeeper to reach 100 before the USA leaves for Brazil. The USA plays South Africa for the first time in team history on July 9 at Soldier Field in Chicago and will play a yet to be announced match in late July.
- The 23,535 fans at today’s game mark the largest crowd to watch the WNT in the state of Ohio. The previous record was 23,101 at Columbus Crew Stadium on Oct. 3, 1999 vs. South Korea.
- Alex Morgan now has seven career goals vs. Japan, the most she has vs. any country.
- Morgan has now scored in seven games of the 11 she’s played in 2016, and with four multi-goal games so far, has a total of 11 goals in 2016.
- Morgan now has 67 career goals and 18 multi-goal games for the USA.
- The only other time Morgan scored double-digit goals for the USA in a calendar year was in 2012, which, coincidently, also happened to be an Olympic year.
- Julie Johnston scored her third goal of 2016 and eighth career goal. All have come off set pieces.
- Allie Long notched her second career assist for the WNT.
- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Japan
Date: June 5, 2016
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: FirstEnergy Stadium; Cleveland, Ohio
Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
Weather: 74 degrees, mostly cloudy (Abandoned in 76th minute due to inclement weather).
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
JPN 0 0 0
USA – Julie Johnston (Allie Long) 27th minute
USA – Alex Morgan (Crystal Dunn) 62
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 8-Julie Johnston, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 7-Meghan Klingenberg; 14-Morgan Brian (20-Lindsey Horan, 57), 23-Allie Long, 12-Christen Press; 16-Crystal Dunn (11- Ali Krieger, 75), 13-Alex Morgan, 17-Tobin Heath
Subs Not Used: 3-Samantha Mewis, 6-Whitney Engen, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 15-Emily Sonnett, 21-Alyssa Naeher
Head coach: Jill Ellis
JPN: 1-Erina Yamane; 5-Yuri Kawamura (2-Saori Ariyoshi, 56),15-Hikari Takagi, 4-Saki Kumagai, 6-Rumi Utsugi (capt.); 17-Ami Sugita (7-Emi Nakajima 46), 10-Mizuho Sakaguchi, 14-Yu Nakasato, 13-Rika Masuya (19-Mayu Sasaki, 65); 11-Yuika Sugasawa (8-Sonoko Chiba, 46), 16-Mana Iwabuchi (20-Kumi Yokoyama, 64)
Subs Not Used: 3-Tomoko Muramatsu, 12-Ayaka Yamashita, 18-Sakiko Ikeda
Head coach: Asako Takakura
Stats Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 11 / 3
Shots on Goal: 9 / 2
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 5 / 11
Offside: 4 / 1
USA – Julie Johnston (caution) 13th minute
JPN – Yuika Sugasawa (caution) 36
Referee: Marianela Cruz (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Nelly Alvarado (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Shirley Lopez (HON)
4th Official: Melissa Pastrana (HON)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Allie Long