France plays to 1-1 draw with the US in the SheBelieves Cup
Eugenie Le Sommer scored just before halftime and France finished with a 1-1 draw against the U.S. women’s national team on Sunday in the SheBelieves Cup at Red Bull Arena.
Mallory Pugh had put the United States in front in the 35th minute with her ninth international goal. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made a pair of big saves with France pressing late in the game.
The gold medal-winning U.S. women’s hockey team was honored before the match in Harrison, New Jersey.
The United States, the top-ranked team in the world, was coming off a 1-0 victory over Germany in the tournament opener in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday.
France, ranked sixth, won the SheBelieves Cup last year, but dropped the opening match against England 4-1.
U.S. coach Jill Ellis made a few changes in the starting lineup following the opener against Germany. She rested veteran Carli Lloyd as well as Julie Ertz, paving the way for Andi Sullivan and Morgan Brian to start.
Lloyd came in as a sub in the 72nd minute. She needs just two goals to reach 100 for her career.
The Americans were without several key players for the tournament, including veteran defender Becky Sauerbrunn, who is recovering from a foot injury, and midfielder Tobin Heath, who had ankle surgery. Both were starters on the 2015 World Cup-winning team.
U.S. defender Casey Short injured her ankle late in the game and left the field on a stretcher.
France, coming off a rough outing against England in its opener, started veteran Sarah Bouhaddi in goal. It was her 128th appearance for the national team.
It was clear from the start on Sunday that the team had regrouped under new coach Corinne Diacre, a former defender who played for the national team from 1993-2005.
Both teams are preparing for next year’s World Cup in France. Les Bleues have already qualified for the tournament as hosts, while the defending champion United States will attempt to qualify this fall.
Second-ranked Germany and third-ranked England were set to meet in the late game on Sunday. The tournament concludes on Wednesday night in Orlando, Florida.