Megan Rapinoe brace carries US Women to victory over Australia

(WVUE) - After an erratic first half that saw the USA and Australia tied 1-1, the Americans controlled possession in the second half and scored twice to win their 2015 Women's World Cup opener, 3-1.

2011 star Megan Rapinoe opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a deflected shot from beyond the penalty box but Australia's Lisa de Vanna equalized in the 27th minute. American goalkeeper Hope Solo made a couple difficult stops in the first half to keep the Aussies at bay and totaled four saves for the day.

In the second half, striker Sydney Leroux sprinted through the defense to the end line and found Christen Press trailing for a far post shot. In the 78th minute, Rapinoe took a careless Australian pass at midfield and dribbled all the way inside the penalty box to put the US up 3-1.

Nursing a knee injury, star striker Alex Morgan did not start but came in after the second Rapinoe goal and finished the game. Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday picked up yellow cards.

Up next for the Americans, fifth-ranked Sweden Friday on FOX 8 with coverage starting at 6 PM.

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