Stanford grad Christen Press helped create a wild ending at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday in helping the U.S. women's national soccer team score three goals in nine minutes late in its Tournament of Nations match against Brazil, overcoming a 3-1 deficit to earn a thrilling 4-3 win.
Megan Rapinoe created the opportunity, giving Press a nice pass into the left side of the the penalty box. Press, who scored her 43rd international goal, collected the ball, spun toward goal and smacked a shot into the upper left corner yards away to pull the USA within one.
Press returned the favor for Rapinoe in the 85th minute. In what was perfect timing, Press lofted the ball into the left side of the penalty box where only Rapinoe could get it. She had plenty of time to get off a fantastic left-footed shot that the Brazil goalkeeper could not handle.
Four minutes later, Julie Ertz, who had, like Press, entered game in the 57th minute, got the winner by smashing home a loose ball after a goal mouth scramble, and the USA did well to salt away the remaining minutes.
Australia leads the Tournament of Nations after a 4-2 victory against Japan in the first game of the day, but the win keeps the USA alive for the tournament title. All four teams now head north for the conclusion of the competition on Thursday at StubHub Center in Carson, as Australia takes on Brazil (4:15 p.m. on ESPN3) and the USA faces Japan (7 p.m. on ESPN2 and UDN).
Team USA needs help to win the tournament. Beating Japan is a must and Brazil needs to upset the Aussies. The Americans also need to overcome a three-goal differential.
While both teams were dangerous in the attack throughout the match, the USA created the better chances and eventually out-shot Brazil 24-13. But it was the South Americans who took the 3-1 lead.
NOTES: Press scored her 43rd international goal in her 89th cap. It was her second of 2017 . . . Sacred Heart Prep grad Abby Dahlkemper earned her sixth cap for the USA and her third career start . . . Stanford grad Kelley O'Hara earned her 98th international appearance and has tied Ali Krieger for 36th place on the all-time caps list . . . This is the first time the U.S. has won a game after trailing by two goals since the 2012 Olympics against France.