US women fall to Germany, 1st 3-game losing streak since ’93

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The United States women lost again, falling 2-1 to Germany on Thursday night for their first three-game skid since 1993 and first home defeat in more than five years.

Paula Krumbiegel scored the decisive goal in the 89th minute for third-ranked Germany in the exhibition at DRV PNK Stadium.

Megan Rapinoe scored in the 85th minute for the top-ranked Americans, who had been unbeaten in 71 straight games at home. The team’s last loss on U.S. soil came to Australia in July 2017. The U.S. lost at England and Spain last month.

U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski said while he was unhappy with the loss, he saw many positives.

“We saw what we wanted to see,” Andonovski said. “We were talking about precision in the final third, we talked about connection between the three forwards, we talked about the connection between midfielders and forwards. So everything that we said we wanted to see in this game, we saw. Now obviously we didn’t see the final touch, and that’s what we were missing.”

Lindsey Horan had a good chance for the United States in the 34th minute but her header was just off. Moments later, Rose Lavelle’s attempt appeared to deflect off Horan and hit the crossbar, but fell just outside the the goal line.

Horan tried a bicycle kick early in the second half that went off the post. On the counter, U.S. goalkeeper Casey Murphy made a dramatic save, but Klara Buhl had the rebound, which hit the post and bounced off Murphy for an own goal in the 52th minute.

Rapinoe, who came off the bench in the 73rd minute, scored off a cross from Alex Morgan to tie the game.

“We changed tactics at halftime and the U.S. had really strong standards. Then we had a quick change when we scored unexpectedly and after that we did really well. (The U.S.) got the goal against us in the last couple minutes and then we had to score. Did really well and scored the last two minutes,” Germany coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said through a translator.

It was the first time the U.S. has conceded multiple goals in three straight games since 2001. The Americans fell to England 2-1 at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 7, then lost 2-0 to Spain in Pamplona on Oct. 11.

It was the first of two friendlies against Germany to conclude the year. The teams meet again Sunday at Red Bull Stadium in Harrison, New Jersey, as they prepare for next summer’s Women’s World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

The United States has won the past two women’s World Cups and has four titles overall. Germany is the only other team to win multiple women’s World Cups, with titles in 2003 and 2007.

Germany lost to England in the final of the Women’s Euro this summer but has won four straight since.

The United States has retooled its roster since its bronze-medal finish at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Andonovski has brought in younger players, including 22-year-old forward Sophia Smith, who was named MVP of the National Women’s Soccer League this season.

“I trust these players. I believe that these players are capable of scoring goals. In fact, the front line consists of the three best goal scorers from the NWSL that are eligible to play for this country,” Andonovski said, referring to Smith, Morgan and Mallory Pugh. “They’ve proven that they can score goals, they’ve proven can play through this. They can score goals, different ways and sometimes it just doesn’t happen. But like I said, I’m not concerned but I for sure want them to score more goals.”

The United States heads to New Zealand in January for training camp and a pair of exhibitions against the Kiwis on Jan. 18 and Jan. 21, both in stadiums where the Americans will play during the group stage of the World Cup.

___

AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.