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England defeats U.S. Women's National Team 2-1

England defeated the U.S. Women’s National Team 2-1 on Saturday at Brisbane Road in London. The loss is the first for the U.S. in a friendly match since Nov. 6, 2004, when the Americans lost 3-1 to Denmark in Philadelphia.

England dominated the first half and opened up the scoring in just the eighth minute when Jess Clarke volleyed the ball past U.S. goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart from eight yards out.  The play came after a long build-up from England that went through Clarke on the left side.

The Americans were left stunned in the 26th minute when they went down 2-0.  England midfielder Kelly Smith collected the ball in her own half and dribbled 50 yards without being challenged by a U.S. defender.  Smith laid the ball off to her left, where Rachel Yankey drove a left footed shot into the far upper corner to put the Three Lions ahead 2-0.

Megan Rapinoe eased the pain for the U.S. when she scored against the run of play in the 39th minute.  The goal involved no build-up, but a moment of individual brilliance from Rapinoe produced a low, hard shot that beat England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley at Bardsley’s lower right corner.

A more even second half produced no goals for either team.


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