Megan Rapinoe does it like this, Lionel Messi does it like that, but the ball ends up in the goal all the same.
Rapinoe scored two goals for the United States women’s national soccer team Monday in its 3-1 win over Australia in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Rapinoe scored her first off a deflection in the 12th minute, but her second was a sensational, solo effort reminiscent of Messi’s magic of recent weeks.
Team USA was leading 2-1 in the 78th minute when Carli Lloyd dispossessed an Australian opponent and passed to Rapinoe near the halfway line. Rapinoe then did the rest, dribbling into Australia’s penalty area — around 50 yards — and beating goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri with a well-placed shot to the far post.
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Rapinoe was Team USA’s first multi-goal scorer in a single World Cup game in eight years.
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Rapinoe joked about her goal at her postgame press conference, calling it Messi-esque.
“I was doing my best Messi impression,” Rapinoe quipped. “A much slower version of it.”
Messi hasn’t commented publicly on Rapinoe’s goal but he probably would be proud of, and even flattered by, it.
Thumbnail photo via Bruce Fedyck/USA TODAY Sports Images