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Lloyd salvages draw on USA’s Victory Tour

United States’ Carli Lloyd, center right, is embraced by Megan Rapinoe on Wednesday after scoring against Brazil during the second half of an international friendly soccer match in Seattle. The teams played to a 1-1 draw.
United States’ Carli Lloyd, center right, is embraced by Megan Rapinoe on Wednesday after scoring against Brazil during the second half of an international friendly soccer match in Seattle. The teams played to a 1-1 draw. The Associated Press

On a tour dedicated to celebrating the Unites States’ 2015 Women’s World Cup victory, it seemed only fitting that Carli Lloyd rode to the rescue.

Lloyd, the Golden Ball winner as the World Cup’s outstanding player, converted the tying goal in the 85th minute Wednesday, allowing the USA to extend its home unbeaten streak to 101 games with a 1-1 draw in a friendly with Brazil at CenturyLink Field.

“We had some momentum going,” Lloyd said. “It was a great little buildup to get it wide to (Meghan) Klingenberg, and (she) served a perfect ball across the box. I just knew that it was one of those chances where I just had to put a foot in there, step in there, just try to make something happen and finish it off with a goal.”

Brazil jumped ahead in the third minute when Monica headed in a corner from Andressa Alves, beating USA goalkeeper Hope Solo to the far side.

It was by far the earliest goal the U.S. has conceded this year — by 24 minutes. However, the United States seemed to find the game as it moved along. They were coming at Brazil in waves when Lloyd finally equalized.

The USA outshot Brazil 12-11, though Brazil put six shots on target to the USA’s four.

“There were a lot of positives for us in terms of just playing against a good opponent,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said. “I thought we got better in the second half. I thought we created a lot more chances in the second half and got stronger. But for me, I wasn’t disappointed in our first-half performance. There were a lot of good things. … In terms of having a good team to play against, I was pretty pleased with our output.”

USA extended its home unbeaten run to 88-0-13. Their last loss came against Denmark on Nov. 6, 2004. Then the streak started Dec. 8, 2004 versus Mexico. The U.S. women are 231-16-24 all time on home soil. Nine of those losses came in 1985 — the year of the program’s inception — so the USA has lost just seven home matches over the past 22 years.

The game was played before an announced crowd of 23,603, the largest ever to watch the women’s national team in the state of Washington.

“I think it’s a really knowledgeable town,” Ellis said. “I think they love their sport. Getting 20-odd-thousand people to come out on a midweek game is pretty impressive. It’s a great venue, great city, and certainly a huge soccer city.”

This was the USA’s fifth game of its 10-game Victory Tour following its FIFA World Cup championship on July 5. The U.S. opened the tour by steamrolling Costa Rica 8-0 and 7-2, and the Haiti 5-0 and 8-0. The USA and Brazil will meet again Sunday in Orlando, Florida.

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