Pugh scores game-winner in 2-1 US victory over Germany


HARRISON, NJ — Mallory Pugh got the go-ahead in the 56th minute and the US women avoided a fourth straight loss with a 2-1 win over Germany on Sunday.

Sophia Smith also scored for the United States leaders, who went into the game at Red Bull Stadium on their first three-game losing streak since 1993.

Germany defeated the United States 2-1 on Thursday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Paula Krumbiegel scored the decisive goal for the third-placed Germans in the 89th minute.

That loss set a 71-game unbeaten streak for the United States on home soil, dating back to a loss to Australia in July 2017.

The Americans lost 2-1 to England at Wembley on October 7 and lost 2-0 to Spain in Pamplona on October 11.

Jule Brand took advantage of a disorganized US defense with her goal in the 18th minute. It was the fourth straight game in which USA conceded the opening goal, having scored the first in the previous 21.

Smith, who was named Most Valuable Player in the National Women’s Soccer League that season, equalized in the 54th minute before Pugh won the game about two minutes later.

Alex Morgan made his 200th appearance for the team, ranking 13th all-time for the team.

Germany was injured when midfielder Lena Oberdorf left the game in the first half with what appeared to be a shoulder injury.

It was the last game of the year for the Americans and Germany as they prepare for next summer’s Women’s World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

The United States has won the last two Women’s World Cups, winning a total of four titles. Germany is the only other team to have won multiple Women’s World Cups, with titles in 2003 and 2007.

The United States has retooled their roster since their bronze medal finish at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Head coach Vlatko Andonovski has signed younger players including Smith (22) and Pugh (24).

Smith has scored 11 goals for the United States this year and is the youngest player since Mia Hamm in 1993.

The USA also have a number of injured players, including striker Catarina Macario and midfielder Sam Mewis. Julie Ertz is on maternity leave.

The United States travel to New Zealand in January for a training camp and two shows against the Kiwis on January 18 and 21, both at stadiums where the Americans will play during the group stage of the World Cup.

AP Soccer: and

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