USWNT vs. South Africa score: Trinity Rodman hits winning goal as USA win in Megan Rapinoe's farewell

The U.S. women's national team notched a 2-0 victory over South Africa at Chicago's Soldier Field on Sunday, allowing star Megan Rapinoe to end her international career on a victorious note.

The team started brightly and took the lead in the 18th minute thanks to Trinity Rodman, who also scored in the USWNT's 3-0 win over South Africa on Thursday. Casey Krueger dashed down the right side of the pitch and sent the ball towards Alex Morgan, who passed the ball across the goal line to Rodman. From there, the young striker smashed the ball into the back of the net to give her side the lead.

The hosts added a second in the 49th minute through Emily Sonnett. Rapinoe's corner was first punched away by South Africa goalkeeper Andile Dlamini, but Sonnett was near and able to head the ball into the back of the net for her second international goal.

It was a dominant performance from start to finish for the USWNT, who limited South Africa to zero shots on Sunday. The focus was on Rapinoe for the first 50 minutes in her 203rd and final appearance for the team, especially as she had an eye for goal. The forward was notably eager to score from freekicks, including one on the edge of the penalty area right before she was substituted off early in the second half.

Rapinoe's 17-year-long international career was marked by a round of applause and a lengthy series of hugs, as well as tributes before and after the match from teammates, U.S. Soccer and longtime sponsor Nike, among others.

The USWNT return to action on Oct. 26, when they face Colombia at America First Field in Utah.

Want more coverage of women's soccer? Listen below and make sure to watch Attacking Third on Golazo Network Monday, Wednesday and Friday for all your USWNT, NWSL and WSL women's soccer coverage.

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FT: USA 2-0 RSA

The USWNT send off Rapinoe in style with one final win in her national team career. The team dominated from start to finish, and can leave this international break with optimism after a disappointing Women's World Cup exit.

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Horan with a chance

82' - Horan takes a shot from the edge of the penalty area and looks certain to score, but the ball is defelcted by a defender and heads out.

 
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South Africa get forward

76' - The visitors have their first genuine look at goal of the game, with Kgatlana dashing forward and alerting the USWNT defense. Murphy is able to stifle the chance with relative ease, though.

 
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Williams comes on

75' - Williams comes on for Krueger, which means Purce shifts to right back.

 
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Triple change for the USWNT

64' - DeMelo, Fox, and Fishel come on for Sonnett, Dunn, and Morgan. This marks a USWNT debut for Fishel, who was a prolific goalscorer in Liga MX Femenil for Tigres and will hope to continue that form at her new club Chelsea -- and perhaps with the national team as the Paris Olympics rapidly approach.

 
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Curtain call

A thunderous applause for Rapinoe as Midge Purce prepares to sub into for her. An immediate huddle in place to say good bye as Rapinoe exits the pitch for the final time in a national team jersey. Feels like a fitting ending as both players have been active in off-pitch activism while representing the team.

 
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Rapinoe close

52' - Rapinoe goes straight for goal with a freekick right outside the penalty area, but it falls just wide of the net.

 
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USA 2-0 RSA

49' - Sonnett makes it two! Rapinoe's ball from a corner kick is first redirected by Dlamini but it falls to Sonnett, who heads it into the back of the net for her second career international goal.

 
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Second half begins

The USWNT makes one change at the half - Cook comes on for Girma, who played all 90 minutes on Thursday in addition to 45 today.

 
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HT: USA 1-0 RSA

The USWNT may have just one goal to show for it, but it has ben a dominant outing in Chicago so far. The hosts have most of the possession (60%), 10 shots, and have limited South Africa to zero shots during that first half. A late batch of chances teased the possibility that Rapinoe could get a major moment in her USWNT finale, but it hasn't come yet.

 
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Chance for the USWNT

37' - Goalkeeper Dlamini darts off her goal line to rescue the ball after Rodman made a smart diagonal run, which seemingly created an opening for Rapinoe to make a major play, but South Africa's defense had it covered.

 
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Rapinoe with a freekick

27' - Rapinoe has a freekick that's pretty far from goal, but she opts to go for it anyway. She does not stick the improbable landing, but it's hard not to commend her for the boldness of the decision. If there's anytime to pull a move like that, it's in your national team swan song, isn't it?

 
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Passing of the torch soon?

A group of players have begun their warmups on the sideline here at Soldier Field in the 25th minute. Julie Ertz came off in the 35th minute on Thursday in Cincinnati, Ohio. How much longer will we Rapinoe in a national team jersey?

 
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Crowd loves the goal!

Trinity Rodman provides the opening goal to Rapinoe's final game, and the soon-to-be retired player is the first to celebrate with the next-gen player. The crowd has been giving Rapinoe standing ovations during each corner, and they definitely let loose on the opening goal. Let's see if the gates have opened for the UWSNT.

 
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USA 1-0 RSA

18' - The USWNT is on the board! Krueger makes a run down the right flank and finds Morgan, who smartly sends the ball across goal to Rodman, who smashes the ball into the back of the net. Morgan also assisted Rodman's goal on Thursday night.

 
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Early flurry of shots

12' - The USWNT already has four shots (one on target) to start this one, including a few from Morgan. It's been an encouraging beginning for the forward, who did not score at the World Cup and has not scored yet for club or country since returning from the tournament.

 
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We are underway

The whistle goes and Rapinoe's finale begins with an early spell of possession for the USWNT.

 
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Rapinoe pre-game tribute

As teams line up on the pitch before the anthems, U.S. Soccer hosts a small pre-match ceremony commemorating Rapinoe. Her family and fiancee Sue Bird takes to the pitch alongside USSF higher-ups shortly before kickoff.

 
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Rapinoe on her own legacy

Rapinoe reflected on her storied career yesterday, and said the USWNT's 2012 Olympic gold medal or a 2019 Women's World Cup triumph as her on-field career highlights. Without a doubt, though, Rapinoe said her greatest accomplishment is what she and her teammates have been able to do off the field with their soccer success. Sandra Herrera was there to hear her pre-game thoughts in a must-read piece:

"Our fight off of the field," she said. "Obviously, equal pay being a big part of that. I think even in the years prior to that, being so vocal about racial justice and gay rights and just feeling like the team really stepped into a new era of itself and really, really, took upon itself to be so much more than what we were on the field."

 
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Vibe check

Hey everyone! Sandra Herrera here Iive from Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. A great day in the Midwest for some soccer. Lots of action in the Fan Fest where people are gathered to take in some memories of Megan Rapinoe's career, photos with Chicago Red Stars players, and of course lots of USWNT merchandise. 

 
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Kgatlana starts again

The South Africa star gets the nod again up top after she had a strong start on Thursday. Here's the visitors' lineup in full.

South Africa starting lineup: Dlamini, Ramalepe, Makhubela, Gamede, Dhlamini, N. Cesane, Moodaly, Motlhalo, S. Cesane, Kgatlana, Shongwe

 
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Rapinoe with the armband

No surprise, Rapinoe starts and captains the USWNT in her final game. She's one of a few changes Kilgore made from Thursday's lineup.

USWNT starting lineup: Murphy, Krueger, Davidson, Girma, Dunn, Sonnett, Sullivan, Horan, Rodman, Morgan, Rapinoe

Substitutes: Naeher, Sanchez, Williams, Thompson, Cook, Purce, Kingsbury, DeMelo, Fox, Shaw, Coffey, Fishel

 
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How to watch

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 24 | Time: 5:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Soldier Field -- Chicago, Illinois
  • TV: TNT | Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
 
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Hello and welcome!

Just three days after the USWNT said goodbye to Julie Ertz, the team will do so again. Megan Rapinoe is set to end her storied national team career today and if Ertz's swan song is anything to go by, the team will do what they can to send her off in style with a goal.

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