Rapinoe leads U.S. past Australia in World Cup
By Steve Keating
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Megan Rapinoe scored twice to lead the United States to a 3-1 win over Australia in their Women's World Cup opener on Monday, extending their unbeaten run against the Matildas to 25 games.
Rapinoe's two strikes, on either side of halftime and another from Christen Press in the 61st minute powered the Americans to the top of Group D after Sweden and Nigeria had earlier battled to a 1-1 draw.
"That was a little bit of shaky game for us, especially the first 30 minutes, Hope (Solo) came up absolutely huge for us, I think she made three saves that I don't think anyone else in the world can make," Rapinoe told reporters.
"Three points. That's what is most important, especially in this group that is shaping up a little weird."
Having achieved just two draws in their 24 previous meetings against the U.S., Australia came out looking determined to end their frustration when Emily Van Egmond unleashed a thunderbolt from just inside the penalty area that forced a diving save from Hope Solo.
The U.S., however, drew first blood in the 12th minute when Rapinoe's long range shot deflected off an Australian defender leaving a flat-footed Melissa Barbieri no chance.
The goal did nothing to deflate the Matildas as Australia continued to push forward with Lisa De Vanna celebrating her 100th international appearance with her 36th goal to leave the sides level 1-1 at halftime.
The U.S. broke the deadlock in the 61st minute when Sydney Leroux made a deep run down the wing and fed an unmarked Press in the box before Rapinoe sealed victory in the 78th minute. Continued...