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U.S., China draw at PPL Park

The United States Women’s National Team salvaged an ugly 1-1 draw Wednesday with China thanks to an 83rd minute equalizer from University of California senior Alex Morgan.  The goal was Morgan’s first as a senior international and came thanks to a well-placed knock-down header from fellow forward Abby Wambach.

Morgan entered the match in the 71st minute and salvaged a draw for an underachieving U.S. team on the evening.  After a sloppy opening, Ma Jun put the young Chinese team ahead in the 37th minute when she slammed a shot into the upper netting past U.S. goalkeeper Nicole Barnahart.  Shou Gaoping provided the service from the wing, but the play was created after a bad giveaway in the middle of the park from U.S. centerback Christie Rampone.

Wednesday’s 1-1 draw comes after the U.S. defeated China 2-1 Saturday in Kennesaw, Ga.  China failed to qualify for the 2011 Women’s World Cup and fielded a squad for the two matches with the U.S. that featured just two players over the age of 25.  However, Head Coach Pia Sundhage said she is not concerned about the results.

“Nothing concerns me,” she said.  “I’m just interested in what we can improve.  What is interesting is that at times in the first game against China and in this game we are doing a good job.  But then there’s a big period where we are dispossessed too early and it’s all about the decision making and position.”

The U.S. is now unbeaten in its last 48 home games.  CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying begins Oct. 28 in Cancun, Mexico when the U.S. takes on Haiti in Group B play.  The U.S. will then take on Guatemala Oct. 30 and Costa Rica Nov. 1.  Sundhage’s current 24-player squad will be trimmed to 20 players for the qualifying tournament.

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