The USA's Sydney Leroux (right) sprints away from Amber Hearn of New Zealand during their international friendly at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, on October 30, 2013. (Photo: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The United States extended its unbeaten streak to 38-games on Wednesday, playing to a 1-1 draw with New Zealand in a women’s friendly, before a crowd of 15,139 at Crew Stadium. Hannah Wilkinson’s late equalizer snapped the visitor’s 10-game losing streak against the Americans.
The match was the second meeting between the sides in four days with the U.S. winning 4-1 on October 27 in San Francisco.
Sydney Leroux gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead in the 42nd minute. With her back to the goal, the 23-year-old forward received the ball from Kristie Mewis outside the box and spun to her left to elude several New Zealand defenders. After several touches, Leroux fired a low strike into the left corner past New Zealand goalkeeper Erin Nayler for her eighth goal of the year.
With three minutes left in regulation time, Wilkinson – who scored in the series opener -- received a pass from Rebekah Stott down the right side and then shot to the far left corner beyond goalkeeper Hope Solo to level the score.
The host outshot New Zealand 14-6 and had the chance to take the lead in the 10th minute. An Abby Wambach penalty kick, following Ria Percival’s handball inside her own penalty area, was saved by Nayler.
Next up for the U.S. is another friendly against visiting Brazil on November 10 at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida.