Football: Goals from Rapinoe, Morgan lift US over France in friendly

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Apr 14 2021 10:27 AM

Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. during the match. Benoit Tessier, Reuters

Stalwarts Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan scored 14 minutes apart in the first half to lead the U.S. women's national team to a 2-0 victory against France in Le Havre, France, on Tuesday.

Rapinoe scored on a penalty kick in the fifth minute and has goals in four straight games. Morgan doubled the count in the 19th with her 109th goal for the world's top-ranked team.

A foul by defender Aïssatou Tounkara on Morgan allowed Rapinoe the opportunity to score her 59th international goal.

It was Rapinoe's 87th-minute PK that salvaged a 1-1 tie against Sweden on Saturday to extend the American's unbeaten streak to 39, although a 16-game winning streak ended.

Morgan made it 2-0 by slowing her run to stay onside when Christen Press split the defense with a pass into the right side of the penalty area at Stade Océane, the site of the Americans' last defeat, 3-1 on Jan. 19, 2019.

Since then, the U.S. has reeled off a 35-0-4 record, including the last meeting between the Americans and French in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Women's World Cup.

The USWNT defeated the hosts 2-1 in Paris on June 28, 2019, with Rapinoe also converting a penalty in the fifth minute en route to a second consecutive World Cup title.

France was unbeaten since that match (14-0-2) but the No. 3 French were not at full strength Tuesday because four players from the World Cup squad did not play because of COVID-19 protocols.

Despite the early deficit, France had two quality chances before the break provided by Marie-Antoinette Katoto. Her header off a restart forced goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher to make a lunging save at the left post in the 22nd minute, and Katoto's flick in the 44th went over the crossbar.

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