The U.S. women’s national team had been knocking on the door of a goal in Thursday night’s 2-1 loss against Germany at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Scratch that: Lindsey Horan was knocking on the goal frame, repeatedly. The 28-year-old midfielder banged a shot off the crossbar late in the first half, then slammed a ball into the post with a bicycle kick early in the second.
Both of Horan’s chances ricocheted away from the net. The second turned into a counterattack for Germany, which then turned into their own shot off the post. The visiting team, though, proved luckier than Horan.
German forward Klara Bühl’s shot knocked off the left post, then off the back of U.S. goalkeeper Casey Murphy and into the net to give the visitors the lead and the momentum, which they carried to a victory.
Bühl makes it 1-0 for Germany ‼️ pic.twitter.com/CPap7ZOayD— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) November 11, 2022
Bühl makes it 1-0 for Germany ‼️ pic.twitter.com/CPap7ZOayD
Murphy, despite being credited with an own goal, made several key saves playing in place of regular starter Alyssa Naeher.
Among position players, Rose Lavelle provided a bright spot. The midfielder helped the team control the pace in the first have and nutmegged a defender to set up Horan’s first close call off the crossbar.
Yet while the U.S. looked strong at times, particularly in the middle of the field, they struggled on set plays and in transition, which doomed them in the final minutes.
The USWNT tied the score in the 85th minute, as Alex Morgan fed the ball to a wide open Megan Rapinoe, who snapped it into the goal. But Germany responded three minutes later, turning a transition opportunity into a goal from Paulina Krumbiegel to take the win.
The loss marks the third in a row for the USWNT, which fell in back-to-back games against England and Spain in October. The team previously had not lost three consecutive games since 1993, when it lost to Norway and then twice in a row to Germany.
Since its founding in 1985, the USWNT never has lost four matches in a row, though the team did kick off its existence with a four-match winless streak (three losses and a tie). The squad will look to avoid that ignominious first when it faces Germany again at 5 p.m. ET Sunday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.