The United States almost lost to Canada for the first time in 29 matches. Almost.
Sydney Leroux's 78th minute tally earned the U.S. a 1-1 draw against their northern rivals, ruining what would have been a huge day for the Canucks. Then again, the Americans have a habit of ruining the Canadian women's fun.
Canada looked the better side in the first half as 18-year-old Kadeisha Buchanan starred for the Canucks. She was cut out everything at the back, giving Abby Wambach fits and then in the 35th minute, she got into the attack too. The centerback for forward on a corner kick and headed home the opening goal, giving the home side a 1-0 lead.
It wasn't as if the Canada lead was ever under threat either, at least not in the first half. The Americans were toothless with the ball and a Lauren Holiday shot that was pretty easily saved was their only real attempt at goal as Canada controlled the match despite starting two 18-year-olds and a 17-year-old in defense.
With the U.S. struggling to do much and Canada causing the American defense a bunch of problems, it looked like the Canucks would come away with a win. When the match went to halftime, there was no question who the better side was.
The second half seemed to turn a switch for the U.S. They still weren't at their best -- and the absences of Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath and Rachel Van Hollebeke through injury certainly didn't help -- but they finally started to find some sort of rhythm. Their possession started moving forward and Erin McLeod actually had to join the match.
McLeod was excellent a couple times, keeping the U.S. from scoring, but it still wasn't all sunshine for the Americans. They looked vulnerable against the counterattack and their improvement didn't mean they were dominating, just that things were even.
Luckily for the U.S., Rebecca Quinn handed them a goal 12 minutes from time. The 18-year-old should have headed away a cross, but instead she just played it right to Leroux at the far post, who knocked the ball into the open net for the equalizer.
Once again, the U.S. had stunned Canada and, of course, it was Leroux haunting the nation of her birth. The crowd of 28,255 was stunned as the Americans celebrated their fortune.
Christine Sinclair and Chrtsten Press traded missed chances late and in the end, the two sides had to settle for a draw, but there was no doubt who looked better. Canada were bright and promising, despite playing a bunch of kids, while the U.S. continue to tread water under interim coach Jill Ellis and desperately need some stability so they can find their form ahead of World Cup qualifying.