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US lets 2-goal lead slip in 3-3 draw with Germany

April 5, 2013

OFFENBACH, Germany (AP) — The American women stumbled a bit in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Abby Wambach scored her 155th international goal, moving within three of tying Mia Hamm’s record, but the U.S. wasted a late two-goal lead and drew 3-3 with Germany in a friendly Friday night in Offenbach.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the win, but we are going to learn a lot from this game,” Wambach said. “Usually the U.S. is on the other side of ball as far as scoring late goals like they did today, so we just have to go back to the drawing board and make sure that never happens again.”

While the women were playing in Germany, injured midfielder Carli Lloyd joined former captain and coach April Heinrichs and other federation officials at ceremonies in New York marking 100 years to the day that the USSF was founded.

“Overall it was a fair result and a competitive, exciting game that showed the quality of the two best teams in the world,” said Tom Sermanni, the Americans’ Scottish coach. “It’s always disappointing when you’re winning the game with 10 minutes to go and you end up drawing. But the positive side for us is we created some very good chances. We knew it was always going to be very difficult to come here and get a result.”

The United States, which extended its unbeaten run to 30 games, plays the Netherlands on Tuesday at The Hague to complete the two-game trip.

Wambach put the Americans ahead in the 47th minute with a header at the far post from a cross by Megan Rapinoe.

Rapinoe doubled the lead when she sent a left-footed half-volley inside the far post from 16 yards in the 58th.

“Those are the ones you want so bad, and every now and then you actually get it,” Rapinoe said. “It hit the sweet spot.”

Germany, second to the U.S. in the FIFA rankings, scored through Kim Kulig in the 53rd. Lauren Cheney put a header in the net three minutes later, but it was disallowed for offside, and Alex Morgan gave the Americans a 3-1 lead in the 71st with a one-touch finish from Cheney’s 40-yard pass, her 42nd international goal.

“Cheney and I play really well together. We’re always on the same page,” Morgan said. “I thought we had them at that point, when it was 3-1.”

Celia Okoyino da Mbabi converted a penalty in the 85th and Anja Mittag leveled two minutes later. Morgan’s header was saved off the goal line by Verena Faisst in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

“That was a really good team performance,” Germany coach Silvia Neid said.

Sermanni made six changes from the lineup that beat Germany 2-0 in the Algarve Cup final in Portugal on March 13. The Americans, who extended their unbeaten streak against the Germans to 11, started right back Crystal Dunn and left back Kristie Mewis, who each had made three previous international appearances.

“It’s not often that the you have the No. 1 and 2 teams play each other so frequently, so it’s great to see the younger players out there,” Morgan said. “They did very well tonight. We came out with the tie and now we are looking forward to the Netherlands.”

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