The U.S. Women’s National Team had its 52-game unbeaten streak in friendly matches snapped Saturday night in East London as England, ranked 10th in the FIFA World Rankings, beat the No. 1 team in the world, 2-1. And in Italy on Saturday, Sweden beat Canada, 1-0, on an early goal by Charlotte Rohlin.
Rachel Yankey (Arsenal) scored what proved to be the game-winner for England in the 26th minute, taking a pass from Kelly Smith (Boston Breakers) and striking it far post, over the outstretched reach of Nicole Barnhart (Philadelphia Independence). Smith also played a role in Jess Clarke’s first goal for England. Shielding U.S. defender Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers) in the box as the ball came from over the top, Smith managed to chip the ball with the inside of her heel. The ball slid over to Clarke, and the Lincoln Ladies midfielder drove home the ball to put England ahead, 1-0, in the eighth minute.
Trailing 2-1, the U.S. got one back when Megan Rapinoe (Philadelphia Independence) found a huge open space in the final third, took it to the top of the box uncontested and buried a shot past England keeper Karen Bardsley (Sky Blue FC) in the 39th minute. The U.S. had a couple late chances, but Bardsley came up big.
In Rome on Saturday, Swedish defender Charlotte Rohlin (Linköping) knocked in a free kick by Antonia Goransson (Kristianstads) to beat Canada, 1-0. Canadian captain Christine Sinclair (WNY Flash) had Canada’s best scoring opportunity, but her shot was stopped by Sweden keeper Sofia Lundgren (Linköping).