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SEATTLE (AP) – Leave it to Carli Lloyd to come through for the United States women and keep them from suffering their first home defeat in more than a decade.
Lloyd scored in the 85th minute and the World Cup champions pulled out a 1-1 tie with Brazil on Wednesday night after trailing from the opening moments in the latest stop on the American’s victory tour.
She got her foot to a cross from defender Meghan Klingenberg and the shot beat goalkeeper Luciana, deflected off the underside of the crossbar and into the net. The U.S. was on the verge of suffering its first home loss in more than a decade.
“Overall I think it’s a good build up. Obviously we’re coming off a World Cup win but we’re not at our sharpest,” Lloyd said. “We’re kind of rebuilding and there are a lot of new faces out there. … Overall I think it’s good stuff and we can build off it and these are the teams we want to play against.”
The Americans extended their home unbeaten streak to 101 matches, their last loss coming on Nov. 6, 2004, against Denmark in Philadelphia during a post-Olympic victory tour after the 2004 Athens Games.
And it was Lloyd making sure the streak continued. Lloyd was the Golden Ball winner at the Women’s World Cup as the most outstanding player and capped the championship with the fastest hat trick in tournament history in the final against Japan. Lloyd has a career-high 17 goals this season.
She was in the right place against the Brazilians to finally capitalize after the U.S. missed a number of chances earlier.
“I thought we got better in the second half and created a lot more chances and got stronger,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said.
Brazilian defender Monica scored on a header off a corner kick in the third minute. The header beat goalkeeper Hope Solo and was the earliest goal allowed by the U.S. in at least two years.
Alex Morgan had two good chances in the first half, missing wide on a header minutes after the opening goal and later had a left-footed volley saved by Luciana. Megan Rapinoe had a scoring chance in the 69th minute off a counterattack but her left-footed shot was easily saved.
The match against Brazil was the fifth game of the U.S. victory tour after winning the Women’s World Cup this summer just a couple hours north in Vancouver, British Columbia. The two sides will play Sunday in Orlando, Florida.
It was also the next stage of evaluation for the U.S. as Ellis begins to look at options for the January training camp from which the roster for Olympic qualifying will be selected. Ellis got a look at a few new faces to the national team pool with NWSL MVP Crystal Dunn playing 72 minutes, and Jaelene Hinkle and Samantha Mewis coming on in the second half.
It was the final game for midfielder Shannon Boxx, who retired after 195 appearances for the national team. Boxx started and was the team captain, checking out in the 41st minute. Boxx received a standing ovation from the crowd and her teammates on the U.S. bench. Solo ran up 60 yards to give Boxx a hug as she jogged off for the final time in her career.
Boxx was a three-time Olympic champion and returned from a knee injury and the birth of her daughter in February 2014 to make the World Cup roster and add a final title to her resume.
“I’m going out as a World Cup champion. I’m going out on my own terms,” Boxx said. “That’s pretty amazing.”
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