The U.S. Women's National Team earned a 1-1 draw against France in the second match of the 2018 SheBelieves Cup in front of 25,706 fans on Sunday afternoon at Red Bull Arena.
Both teams struggled to create scoring chances early on in the contest, but the USA would strike first in the 35th minute from a set-piece. The play started with a foul committed by French defender Marion Torrent that resulted in a yellow card. Megan Rapinoe took the free kick just outside the box from the left side of the field and hooked the ball in towards the six-yard line. A scramble in the box eventually led to an attempted clearance landing in front of Mallory Pugh. While being pulled down by a defender, Pugh struck the ball with her left foot, and French goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi couldn't stop the shot despite getting a hand on it.
France scored the equalizer just three minutes later with Mbock Bathy sending a long ball into the box towards an unmarked Eugénie Le Sommer. She fought past USA defender Abby Dahlkemper, took a touch around a diving Alyssa Naeher and slotted home the tying goal into the opposite side netting.
In the second half, both teams continue to see limited scoring chances. In the last 10 minutes of play, France created several goal-scoring opportunities that were thwarted by Naeher to preserve the draw. In the 82nd minute, France's Viviane Asseyi sent a beautiful through ball to Valérie Gauvin inside the six-yard box. The forward took a one-time shot, but was denied by Naeher who deflected it out of bounds.
The subsequent corner kick led to the ball landing at Amandine Henry’s feet on the left corner. Henry tried to shoot it from close range, but once again Naeher was present to block the shot and maintain the tie.
Sky Blue FC's Savannah McCaskill earned her third WNT cap, coming in at halftime to replace Lindsey Horan. McCaskill showed some strong moments of ball control and possession during the match while playing the 10 role, and continued to show promise after Sky Blue FC teammate Carli Lloyd was subbed on in the 73rd minute.
The U.S. WNT played the first game of the day, with England and Germany playing the second match. The contest ended in a 2-2 draw, which means the USA's showdown against England on Wednesday is a must-win for a chance to win the tournament. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNews.
U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. France
Date: March 4, 2018
Competition: SheBelieves Cup
Venue: Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.
Kickoff: 12 p.m. ET
Weather: 44 degrees; cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
FRA 1 0 1
USA - Mallory Pugh 35
FRA- Eugénie Le Sommer (Griedge Mbock Bathy) 38
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 22-Taylor Smith (2-Casey Short, 44, 23-Christen Press, 76), 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 17-Tierna Davidson, 5-Kelley O’Hara; 3-Andi Sullivan (10-Carli Lloyd, 73), 6-Morgan Brian, 9-Lindsey Horan (21-Savannah McCaskill, 46); 11-Mallory Pugh (19-Crystal Dunn, 73), 13-Alex Morgan (capt.), 15-Megan Rapinoe (12-Lynn Williams, 46)
Substitutes: 8-Julie Ertz, 14-Sofia Huerta, 16-Emily Sonnett, 18-Jane Campbell, 20-Allie Long, 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
FRA: 16-Sara Bouhaddi; 17- Marion Torrent, 19-Griedge Mbock Bathy, 2-Aïssatou Tounkara, 7-Amel Majri; 18-Viviane Asseyi, 23-Grace Geyoro, 6-Amandine Henry, 9-Eugénie Le Sommer; 13-Valérie Gauvin (20- Kadidiatou Diani, 86), 12- Gaëtane Thiney
Substitutes: 1-Karima Benameur, 3-Eve Perisset, 4-Laura Georges, 5-Estelle Cascarino, 8-Maeva Clemaron, 11-Ouleymata Sarr, 15-Marie-Charlotte Leger, 22-Sakina Karchaoui
Head Coach: Corinne Diacre
Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 11 / 13
Shots on Goal: 2 / 4
Saves: 3 / 1
Corner Kicks: 7 / 4
Fouls: 9 / 13
Offside: 4 / 4
FRA - Viviane Asseyi (caution) 30
FRA - Marion Torrent 33
FRA - Eugénie Le Sommer 90
Referee: Lucila Venegas (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Enedina Caudillo (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Karen Diaz (MEX)
4th Official: Tatiana Montes (PAN)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Alyssa Naeher