Rapinoe shines in farewell game as U.S. women beat South Africa 2-0

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Megan Rapinoe, the Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Cup champion, ended her illustrious international career with a stellar performance in the U.S. women’s soccer team’s 2-0 victory over South Africa on Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago.

The 38-year-old forward, who played in 188 games and scored 61 goals for the U.S., was involved in both of her team’s goals in the friendly match. She delivered a long pass to Alex Morgan in the 27th minute, who crossed it to Trinity Rodman for a tap-in at the far post. It was Rodman’s first goal for the U.S. in her second appearance, making her the youngest scorer in U.S. history at 19 years and 208 days old.

Rapinoe then took a corner kick in the 40th minute that found Emily Sonnett, who headed it past the South African goalkeeper for her second international goal. Rapinoe celebrated by hugging her teammates and waving to the crowd of 19,096 fans, who chanted her name throughout the game.

Rapinoe was substituted in the 64th minute to a standing ovation and a tribute video on the stadium’s big screen. She hugged her coach Vlatko Andonovski and her fellow retiring teammates Carli Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn, who also played their last games for the U.S. on Sunday.

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Rapinoe shines in farewell game as U.S. women beat South Africa 2-0

Rapinoe, who won the Ballon d’Or and FIFA Player of the Year awards in 2019, is widely regarded as one of the best players and most influential figures in women’s soccer history. She is known for her skill, creativity, leadership, activism and outspokenness on and off the field.

She said after the game that she was proud of her achievements and grateful for the opportunity to represent her country for 15 years.

“I feel like I’ve given everything I possibly can to this team and this game and this country,” Rapinoe said. “I’m ready to go. I’m ready to move on to the next thing.”

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