Megan Rapinoe celebrates the first goal of the game. (Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports)
CARSON, Calif. — Megan Rapinoe, Mallory Pugh and Alex Morgan scored to lead the United States to a 3-0 victory over Japan in the final Tournament of Nations match before 23,161 at the Stubhub Center Thursday night.
The Americans (2-1-0, 7 points) finished second to champion Australia (3-0-0, 9) in the tournament.
Rapinoe made her presence felt early on. She had a dangerous chance in the ninth minute when her left-footed shot from the top of the box grazed the crossbar. She had another opportunity in the 12th minute with help from a through-ball from Christen Press. Rapinoe received the ball between two defenders, faked one at the top right corner of the six-yard box and finished to the far post.
Pugh and Morgan extended the lead with goals in the 60th and 80th minutes, respectively. Both scores were assisted by defender Taylor Smith, who on her third cap, earned her first career points for the team.
The USA will play two friendlies against New Zealand on Sept. 15 (10 p.m. ET, ESPN2) at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., and on Sept. 19 (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1) at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Christen Press) 12th minute
USA – Mallory Pugh (Taylor Smith) 60
USA – Alex Morgan (Taylor Smith) 80
USA : 1-Alyssa Naeher; 14-Casey Short, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 5-Kelley O’Hara (16-Taylor Smith, 30); 8-Julie Ertz (20-Allie Long, 54), 3-Samantha Mewis, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.) (9-Lindsey Horan, 65); 22-Mallory Pugh (12-Lynn Williams, 73), 23-Christen Press (13-Alex Morgan, 73), 15-Megan Rapinoe (2-Sydney Leroux, 73)
Subs not used :, 11-Ali Krieger, 17-Margaret Purce, 18-Jane Campbell, 21-Abby Smith
Not available: 6-Morgan Brian, 19-Crystal Dunn
Head coach: Jill Ellis
JPN : 18-Ayaka Yamashita; 4-Miho Manya (19-Hikaru Kitagawa, 46), 3-Aya Sameshima, 23-Nana Ichise; 6-Rumi Utsugi, 10-Mizuho Sakaguchi (capt.), 7-Emi Nakajima (17-Yui Hasegawa, 46), 5-Madoka Haji (22-Shiho Tomari, 85), 16-Rin Sumida; 15-Yuka Momiki (14-Yu Nakasato, 79) 11-Mina Tanaka (9-Kumi Yokoyama, 64)
Subs not used: 1-Sakiko Ikeda, Hikari Takagi, 8-Riho Sakamoto, 12-Hikaru Naomoto, 13-Yuika Sugasawa, 20-Ayumi Oya, 21-Ayaka Saitoh
Head coach: Asako Takakura
Final Stats Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 19 / 11
Shots on Goal: 7 / 5
Saves: 5 / 4
Corner Kicks: 7 / 2
Fouls: 4 / 6
Offside: 5 / 1
Referee: Carol-Ann Chenard (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Lixy Enriquez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Enedina Caudilla (MEX)
4th Official: Melissa Perez (PAN)
Woman of the Match: Samantha Mewis