When the U.S. and Japan last met, the Americans were up 4-0 within 16 minutes and well on their way to a Women's World Cup title. Things didn't go as smoothly to start in the rematch Thursday night, but they eventually leveled out.
Alex Morgan scored twice and Lindsey Horan headed home a late goal to bring the U.S. back from a 2-0 deficit, but 10-woman Japan scored a last-minute equalizer, and the two played to a riveting 3-3 draw in a pre-Olympics friendly at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.
The U.S. went down in the 14th minute, when Mana Iwabuchi beat Hope Solo with a gorgeous left-footed curler from the edge of the box, and Yuki Ogimi followed soon after with a clinical finish of her own at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The U.S. had entered the match a perfect 11-0-0 in 2016, outscoring its opponents by an audacious 42-1 margin, but its fortunes changed in the opening 22 minutes, going down a pair of well-taken goals.
Morgan pulled one back for the U.S. in the 27th minute, finishing off a cross from Mallory Pugh and having it trickle off goalkeeper Ayaka Yamashita's hands and in.
Minutes after Ogimi was sent off for getting her second yellow for a reckless challenge from behind on Julie Johnston on the sideline, Morgan struck again in the 64th minute. She headed home Tobin Heath's free kick, again off the keeper's mitts, for her second of the match and 66th of her international career.
Horan gave the U.S. what appeared to be the win with a stoppage-time header. Yamashita, again, didn't cover herself in glory, coming off her line to try and punch out a cross, but she missed, and Horan was highest to the ball to head into a vacant net.
To Japan's credit, it did not accept defeat. Kumi Yokoyama caught the U.S. napping deeper into stoppage time, toeing the offside trap, receiving a tight pass down the center and beating Solo for a last-gasp equalizer from about 15 yards out.
The U.S. and Japan meet again on June 5 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.