Tobin Heath missed the start of the 2018 NWSL season with an ankle injury and hadn’t played for her country since September. She returned in style, scoring the winner for the USWNT vs China as the U.S. won 2-1 on Tuesday in Cleveland.
The U.S. women have now gone 16 matches without a loss, last tasting defeat on July 27, 2017. China gave the USWNT a run for its money, especially in the second half, and scored an equalizer in the 72nd minute. But Heath scored three minutes later and order was restored.
Heath’s goal itself was a bit goofy.
Heath attempted to play a one-two back to Christen Press but the ball ended up back in front of her. Heath took a swing at it that didn’t quite fully connect, but it was the perfect connection to loft the ball over the keeper and into the back of the net.
DOESN'T MATTER HOW IT GOES IN IT STILL COUNTS. THE SCORE IS 2-1 AND THINGS ARE RESTORED TO THEIR RIGHTFUL ORDER#WNTRUNTHEWORLD pic.twitter.com/GQPGLiYFQc— The American Outlaws (@AmericanOutlaws) June 13, 2018
We’re not sure if Heath meant it, but she won’t be complaining.
The U.S. first took the lead in the 35th minute when Megan Rapinoe headed home a cross from Press.
A finish from Pinoe. An + cross from Press.That was an all-around beaut. pic.twitter.com/IiS3hNXaIl
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) June 13, 2018
If we’re being generous on the second one, that was two assists for Press, who was celebrating her 100th cap with the USWNT vs China.
The cap club adds a new member today!Congratulations to @ChristenPress, the 37th #USWNT player to reach the milestone.
» https://t.co/sRLxifj7xS pic.twitter.com/qZkOLUidFA
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) June 12, 2018
Tuesday’s match was the second of a two-game USWNT vs China series. The U.S. won 1-0 on Thursday but had a tougher go on Tuesday.
China equalized in the 72nd minute when Li Ying took advantage of both U.S. center backs going up for one header, leaving the back exposed.
China nearly took the lead moments later but for a brilliant save from Ashlyn Harris on a free kick, which allowed Tobin Heath’s goal to restore the lead for the USWNT vs China.
*does Dikembe Mutombo finger wag* pic.twitter.com/P8lyCavMVZ— The American Outlaws (@AmericanOutlaws) June 13, 2018
Next up for the USWNT is the Tournament of Nations in July, where the U.S. women will play Japan, Australia and Brazil. After that, the Concacaf qualifying for the 2019 World Cup is in October.