U.S. women's soccer team celebrates win against Australia

United States' midfielder Megan Rapinoe waves at the core after (15) scores third goal for the team during second half of a Women's World Cup Soccer match, Monday June 08, 2015 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Mo Khursheed/TFV Media via AP Images

The U.S. women's soccer team is celebrating its first win of this year's World Cup. The Americans beat Australia, 3-1.

The American women have never lost an opening World Cup match, but Monday night's win didn't come easy.

Thousands of American soccer fans packed into Winnipeg stadium, helping Team USA's first match feel like a home game.

"This is a true win for us, but Australia -- they brought their A-game," a fan said.

Early on, the American women were out-muscled and out-hustled by the Australians, but then came the three brilliant first-half saves from American goalie Hope Solo.

Megan Rapinoe's first goal was followed by a perfectly placed strike from a World Cup rookie -- Christen Press.

Rapinoe's second late in the second half sealed the win for the United States.

"Definitely wanted to try and test them early and get some shots off. So I'm never afraid to shoot. Good or bad shot, it doesn't matter," Rapinoe said.

What does matter is that the Americans escaped with a gutsy victory against a tough team.

"It's huge to come out and secure points in the first game. ... Megan was definitely my player of the match. That's a leader by action, and that's somebody I want to follow," forward Abby Wambach said.

On Friday the women's team takes on Sweden. What makes that game so interesting: Sweden's current head coach Pia Sundhage used to be the head coach for the U.S. team. She led them to their last two Olympic gold medals and a World Cup final in 2011.