CHICAGO – Five total Chicago Red Stars made their way across the United States to take part in the Tournament of Nations in friendly matches. Morgan Brian, Julie Ertz, Alyssa Naeher and Casey Short suited up for the U.S. Women’s National Team, while Sam Kerr led the way for Australia. The U.S. WNT would claim their first Tournament of Nations title in front of the Toyota Park home crowd.
Australia and the U.S. WNT tied in terms of points (7) but took the title due to goal differential.
AUS vs. BRA – July 26, 2018
The young Australian side put in a three-goal game, defeating Brazil 3-1 in the first match of the Tournament of Nations. Two goals in the first half for the Westfield Matildas came off of corner kicks, in the ninth and 38th minute.
It was Red Stars forward Sam Kerr that put the final goal in for Australia when she counter attacked down the ride side and finished it perfectly to give her team the win.
USA vs. JPN – July 26, 2018
The 2018 Tournament of Nations opened with the U.S. Women’s National Team claiming a major 4-2 win over Japan in front of 18,467 fans in Kansas City.
It would be the U.S. WNT that struck first when Alex Morgan found a cross from Megan Rapinoe that she finished first time. However, Japan would quickly find the tying goal, when two minutes later they found space and chipped Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
The second goal for the U.S. once again came from Morgan, this time getting on the end of it with her head. The lead would never be lost again by the U.S. WNT as Morgan completed a hat trick and Rapinoe added in the fourth.
USA vs. AUS – July 29, 2018
In an exciting match between two of the top teams in the world, the United States and Australia would earn a 1-1 draw after a 90th minute goal from Lindsay Horan helped the U.S. earn a point.
In front of 21,570 fans in Hartford, Connecticut, Lisa De Vanna connected with Chloe Logarzo in the 22nd minute to give Australia the lead. Australia maintained the lead the entire match, but it was a corner kick from Megan Rapinoe that found Lindsay Horan who finished it with her head to earn the game-tying goal.
AUS vs. JPN – Aug. 2, 2018
With two second half goals from Australia, the Westfield Matildas would take the win over Japan in the final day of the Tournament of Nations.
Two minutes into the second half, Australia earned a free kick on the top of the box. Alana Kennedy stepped up and fired a shot on goal that went past the Japan goalkeeper to give Australia the lead. In the 81st minute it was none other than Kerr, who beat the Japan backline and found herself with an open goal to finish and put her team up by two.
The goal marked Kerr’s 26th international goal in 70 caps.
USA vs. BRA – Aug. 2, 2018
The final game of the Tournament of Nations did not disappoint. In front of 18,309 at Toyota Park, the U.S. WNT found themselves down 1-0 after an own goal in the 16th minute.
The United States continued to push their attack and create chances and finally saw one end up in the back of the net from a Rose Lavelle goal in the 33rd minute. Eight minutes into the second half, it was Red Stars captain Julie Ertz who gave the U.S. the lead with a sliding volley off a cross from Tobin Heath. The U.S. would hold the lead the rest of the game, finishing with two more goals from Heath and Alex Morgan.
Ertz’ goal is her second international of 2018, and her 16th career goal in her 64th career cap. Ertz has scored seven goals in her last 12 matches.