The United States Women’s National Team lost again, falling 2-1 to Germany on Thursday night for its first three-game losing streak since 1993 and its first loss at home in more than five years.
Paula Krumbiegel scored the decisive goal for third-placed Germany in the 89th minute of the exhibition at the DRV PNK stadium.
Megan Rapinoe scored in the 85th minute for the top-ranked Americans, who were unbeaten in 71 consecutive home games. The team’s last loss on U.S. soil came against Australia in July 2017. The U.S. lost to England and Spain last month.
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American coach Vlatko Andonovski said that although he was not satisfied with the defeat, he saw many positive things.
“We saw what we wanted to see,” Andonovski said. “We talked about precision in the final third, we talked about the connection between the three forwards, we talked about the connection between the midfielders and the forwards. So everything we said we wanted to see in this game, we saw. Now obviously we didn’t see the finishing touch, and that’s what we were missing.”
Lindsay Horan had a good chance for the United States in the 34th minute, but her header was just wide. Moments later, Rose Lavella’s effort appeared to deflect off Horan and hit the crossbar, but fell just outside the goal line.
Horan attempted a bicycle kick early in the second half that went off the post. On the counterattack, American goalkeeper Casey Murphy made a dramatic save, but Klara Buhl had a rebound, which hit the post and bounced off Murphy for an own goal in the 52nd minute.
Rapinoe scored on Alex Morgan’s cross to equalize.
“We changed tactics at half-time and the USA had a very strong standard. Then we had a quick change when we unexpectedly scored and after that we did really well. (The USA) got a goal against us in the last few minutes and then we had He did really well and scored in the last two minutes,” Germany coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said through a translator.
It was the first time the USA had conceded more goals in three consecutive games since 2001. The Americans fell to England 2-1 at Wembley Stadium on October 7, and then lost 2-0 to Spain on October 11 in Pamplona.
Thursday’s game was the first of two friendlies against Germany to end the year. The teams meet again on Sunday at Red Bull Stadium in Harrison, New Jersey as they prepare for next summer’s Women’s World Cup, hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
The United States has won the last two Women’s World Cups and has a total of four titles.
Germany is the only national team that has won multiple women’s world championships, with titles in 2003 and 2007.
Germany lost to England in the Women’s Euro final this summer, but have since won four in a row.
The United States has revamped its roster since its bronze medal finish at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Andonovski brought in younger players, including 22-year-old forward Sofia Smith, who was named the National Women’s Soccer League MVP this season.
“I believe in these players. I believe that these players are capable of scoring goals. In fact, the first line consists of the top three scorers from the NWSL who are eligible to play for this country,” Andonovski said, referring to Smith, Morgan and Mallory Pugh.
“They’ve proven they can score goals, they’ve proven they can play through this. They can score goals, in different ways and sometimes it just doesn’t happen. But like I said, I’m not worried, but for sure I want them to score more goals.”
The United States travels to New Zealand in January for a training camp and a pair of exhibition games against the Kiwis on Jan. 18 and 21, both at the stadiums the Americans will play in during the World Cup group stage.