Alex Morgan gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead in the first half. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
VANCOUVER – In another bruising edition of a regional rivalry, the U.S. women’s national team played Canada to a 1-1 tie in front of a sellout crowd of 28,017 at BC Place Thursday night.
A competitive first half saw Canada pressure the Americans all over the field, but it was the visitors that had the first dangerous chance of the game when Megan Rapinoe’s roller from the left side of the penalty area bounced off the inside of the right post, across the face of goal and out.
The U.S. began to find its rhythm later in the half as forward Alex Morgan took advantage of a poor clearance in the penalty area to knock a half-volley past goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé for a 1-0 lead in the 31st minute.
Lindsey Horan almost doubled the U.S. lead with a free kick headed towards the upper netting in the 39th minute, but her attempt was pushed out by Labbé.
Canada came out with a purpose in the second half and its pressure paid off, producing the equalizer after a wild scramble in front of the U.S. goal in the 57th minute as substitute Adrianna Leon poked home a Christine Sinclair cross past goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
Morgan had a chance to take the lead for the U.S. in the 76th minute, but her two attempts right in front of the goal were blocked by Janine Beckie.
The U.S. will finish its 2017 schedule with the second match of the two-game set vs. Canada at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif., Sunday (9 p.m. ET, FS1).
USA – Alex Morgan (Casey Short) 31st minute
CAN – Adrianna Leon (Christine Sinclair) 56
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 14-Casey Short (22-Taylor Smith, 66); 8-Julie Ertz (6-Andi Sullivan, 74), 9-Lindsey Horan, 3-Samantha Mewis (10-Carli Lloyd, 65); 12-Lynn Williams (20-Allie Long, 87), 13-Alex Morgan, 15-Megan Rapinoe (23-Christen Press, 66)
Subs not used: 24-Ashlyn Harris, 16-Emily Sonnett
Head coach: Jill Ellis
CAN: 1-Stephanie Labbe; 2-Allysha Chapman, 4-Shelina Zadorsky, 5-Rebecca Quinn, 6-Deanne Rose (19-Adrianna Leon, 31), 10- Ashley Lawrence, 11-Desiree Scott, 12-Christine Sinclair (capt.), 15-Nichelle Prince (20-Maegan Kelly, 71), 16-Janine Beckie (9-Jordyn Huitema, 90), 17-Jessie Fleming
Subs not used: 18-Sabrina D’Angelo, 21-Kailen Sheridan, 14-Jayde Riviere, 22-Lindsay Agnew, 23-Julia Grosso, 24-Ariel Young
Head coach: John Herdman
Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 11 / 19
Shots on Goal: 4 / 8
Saves: 7 / 3
Corner Kicks: 4 / 5
Fouls: 13 / 14
Offside: 2 / 1
CAN – Janine Beckie (caution) 59th minute
CAN – Maegan Kelly (caution) 79
Referee: Marianela Araya Cruz (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Elizabeth Aguilar (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Kimberly Moreira (CRC)
4th Official: Melissa Perez (PAN)
Woman of the Match: Becky Sauerbrunn