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New Zealand strike late, shock US in 1-1 draw

Sydney Leroux scored for the U.S. on Wednesday in a 1-1 draw with New Zealand. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Hannah Wilkinson delivered a stunning equalizer in the 87th minute to lift New Zealand to a 1-1 draw with the United States in front of 15,138 at Columbus Crew Stadium on Wednesday evening. Sydney Leroux put the U.S. ahead with a goal just before halftime, but a resilient New Zealand showed their resolve to snap the U.S. win streak at seven. The last of the seven was a 4-1 victory over New Zealand in San Francisco on Sunday.

With the win, the United States extends its unbeaten streak to 38 games and home undefeated streak to 76 games, but it’s a historic result for the Football Ferns. The last time New Zealand got points off the U.S. was a win in 1987, the first time the countries ever faced each other. New Zealand improve to 1-10-1 all-time vs. the Americans.

Predictably, the United States women weren’t happy with the tie. Leroux told SoccerWire “it’s a loss for us” and Wambach echoed that, saying “it’s a complete failure of producing what the game plan was.”

The U.S. came out in a 4-3-3 — with Leroux, Abby Wambach and Heather O’Reilly up top — alignment and had several chances to go ahead early in the match. A handball against Fern defender Ria Percival put Wambach at the spot in the 10th minute, but she appeared to telegraph her shot and had it stopped by goalkeeper Erin Nayler. Wambach had another chance in the middle of the opening half but found the crossbar before the ball was cleared out of danger.

Wilkinson nearly got New Zealand on the board in the 54th minute, but her shot from 30 yards out was saved by Solo in a diving effort.

Kristie Mewis, starting at left back for the U.S., nearly found net in the 37th minute with a ship, chip, but it went just wide. Mewis assisted Leroux’s goal minutes later.

The U.S. women have one more game in 2103, Nov. 10 against Brazil at the Citrus Bowl on NBC.  The draw snapped a win streak on U.S. soil dating back just over a year to a pair of draws against Germany.

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. New Zealand
Date: Oct. 30, 2013
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 15,139
Weather: 62 degrees, cloudy

Scoring Summary: 1   2  F

USA                         1  0  1
NZL                          0  1  1

USA – Sydney Leroux (Kristie Mewis) 42nd minute
NZL – Hannah Wilkinson (Rebekah Stott) 87

USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.) (16-Rachel Buehler, 46), 8-Kristie Mewis; 7-Yael Averbuch (10-Carli Lloyd, 70), 15-Megan Rapinoe, 12-Lauren Holiday; 9-Heather O’Reilly, 20-Abby Wambach, 2-Sydney Leroux (23-Christen Press, 78)
Substitutions Not Used: 13-Alex Morgan, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 22-Meghan Klingenberg, 26-Leigh Ann Robinson
Head coach: Tom Sermanni

NZL: 21-Erin Nayler (1-Jenny Bindon, 46); 5-Abby Erceg (capt.), 2-Ria Percival, 7-Ali Riley, 15-Rebekah Stott; 11-Kirsty Yallop (13-Rosie White, 79), 4-Katie Hoyle, 16-Annalie Longo (12-Betsy Hassett, 60); 10-Sarah Gregorius (20-Hellen Collins, 67), 9-Amber Hearn, 17-Hannah Wilkinson (18-Megan Lee, 90+2)
Substitutions Not Used: 3-Anna Green, 6-Meikayla Moore, 14-Elizabeth Milne, 19-Stephanie Skilton
Head coach: Tony Readings

Stats Summary: USA / NZL

Shots: 14 / 6
Shots on Goal: 5 / 4
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 8 / 4
Fouls: 8 / 8
Offside: 3 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
USA -Ali Krieger (caution) 23th minute
NZL – Ria Percival (caution) 72


Referee: Sabina Charles-Kirton (St. Lucia)
Assistant Referee 1: Antonette Williams (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Wendy Fisher (Cayman Islands)
Fourth Official: William Anderson (Puerto Rico)


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