Rapinoe, Heath help the USWNT to win against China PR

The two forward/midfielders were the goal scorers for the hosts as they picked up a win against a resilient Chinese side.

Rapinoe, Heath help the USWNT to win against China PR
Megan Rapinoe continued her fine form today | Source: espnfc.com
USA
2 1
China
USA: Harris; Huerta (Mathias, min. 77), Sauerbrunn, Davidson, Dunn; Mewis (Lavelle, min. 64), Ertz (Horan, min. 58), Brian (Long, min. 46); Press, Morgan (Heath, min. 64), Rapinoe (Lloyd, min. 57).
China: Oeng; Yan (Li T, min. 59), Wu, Lin, Lou; Han, Wang S (Yuyi, min. 65), Yao, Ren (Yang, min. 65), Wang S; Li Y.
SCORE: 1-0, min. 35, Rapinoe. 1-1, min. 72, Li Y. 2-1, min. 75, Heath.
REFEREE: Christina Unkel (USA). Yellow Card: Davidson (min. 69), Han (min. 77).
INCIDENTS: 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup between China PR and the USWNT. The match was played at Lansdowne Stadium in Ottawa, Canada. 24,141 spectators.

Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath were the goal scorers on a night when the United States Women's National Team picked up their second consecutive win over China PRLi Ying scored China's only goal of the game as the home side found their 14th win of the year after a hard-fought battle against China.

The US get the goal their first half performance deserved

The hosts started off this game strongly, looking to rectify what had been a poor performance in the previous meeting between the two teams. That push at the start resulted in two great chances for both Rapinoe and Christen Press. Rapinoe found space in the second minute and played a square ball across goal that Press should have finished at the far post. Press then turned provider a minute later when her cut back picked out Rapinoe but the Seattle Reign forward could not get her shot off before a Chinese defender had closed her down.

The USWNT went into half-time in the lead | Source: ussoccer.com
The USWNT went into half-time in the lead | Source: ussoccer.com

The USWNT thought they had taken the lead in the 29th minute when some fine play by Press and Rapinoe eventually led to Julie Ertz sticking the ball into an empty net but the offside flag scratched off that goal. The home side's persistence and fairly well-balanced play eventually paid off in the 35th minute. Samantha Mewis found a gap in midfield before swinging the ball out wide to Press. The striker then floated a fantastic ball to Rapinoe who nodded her effort down and into the far corner of the net.

China had a few forrays of their own but nothing to worry Ashlyn Harris in goal tonight for the USWNT. The only shot on target for the Chinese came in the 43rd minute when Wang Shuang cut inside and send off an effort that was easily handled by Harris.

China put up a great fight in the second half

The USWNT did not come out of the half-time break as sharply as they did at kick-off. There were sloppy passes from the backline and the midfield and they were unable to hold up the ball well when it did get forward. Some of that was due to the tactical changes that China made at the break which pushed them higher up the field. That high press gave them their second shot on target in the 55th minute when Ren Guixin took a pop at goal after some good build up by her teammates but it went straight into Harris' hands.  A minute later, Press had another opportunity to get herself on the scoresheet but she skied her left-footed shot high over the crossbar.

China contested for every ball in the second half | Source: ussoccer.com
China contested for every ball in the second half | Source: ussoccer.com

The general complacency shown by the USWNT in the second half allowed China to grow into the game and the visitors should have taken the lead in the 61st minute when substitute Li Tingting nicked the ball away from Tierna Davidson and found Wang completely unmarked in the box. The midfield then swivelled before firing off at goal but her effort went wide of the far post. The US did not heed that warning and were punished for it eleven minutes later by Li Ying. A mix up between Becky Sauerbrunn and Davidson led to Li Tingting streaking forward on a two-on-one situation. She unselfishly laid the ball off for Li Ying who slid the ball into an empty net to draw China level.

China almost went up two minutes later when they earned a dangerous free-kick just outside of the box. Wang stepped up and sent in a great curling effort towards the top corner that was clawed out spectacularly by Harris to keep the score level. That save would turn out to be priceless as the USWNT went up the field from the resulting goal kick and found the game-winner thanks to Tobin Heath. Press, who had had a great game out on the right, combined with Heath but after a few deflections the ball fell into Heath's path again. The Portland Thorns midfielder swung her right foot and chipped the goalkeeper from about six yards to give the US the led and ultimately, the win.