The United States and Japan played out a dramatic 2-2 draw in their first game of the 2019 SheBelieves Cup, a contest which was a repeat of the World Cup finals in both 2011 and 2015.

Taking to the field at the Talen Energy Stadium, usually the home of the Philadelphia Union, the two sides had already seen a resilient England come from behind to beat Brazil earlier on Wednesday evening in the tournament's opening game.

As perennial hosts, the United States have won two of the last three SheBelieves Cups and started strongly once more by taking the lead midway through the first half. Megan Rapinoe, one of several hugely experienced veterans in this squad, got the goal with an easy finish.

That was, however, after Japan had already hit the bar, a warning sign to the Americans.

Japan's first shot on target didn't come until the second half, but it produced a goal when it arrived as Emi Nakajima capitalised on a botched clearance to score with a clinical finish.


The United States restored their lead not long after that, coming in the 76th minute. It was another veteran who scored it, this time Alex Morgan intelligently turning in a Christen Press cross with her chest. The goal was the 99th of Morgan's international career.

At 2-1, the hosts couldn't hold on and Japan equalised in stoppage time through Yuka Momiki.

Goalscoring continues to come easy to the Americans and they have only failed to find the net on one occasion in their last 35 games spread over the last two years. But lax defending will be a cause for concern ahead of Saturday's encounter with a dangerous England team.

"Looking ahead to England, they came out on top against Brazil so obviously they are top of the leader board right now. We want to win our own tournament so that's the most important game for us," Morgan told 90min's Ben Haines after the final whistle.

That game will be played at the Nissan Stadium in Nashville following the conclusion of Japan's earlier clash with Brazil at the same venue in Music City.