Five days removed from its historical 13-0 victory against Thailand in the 2019 FIFA World Cup, the United States National Team returned to the pitch to take on Chile for their second game in Group F. The Stars & Stripes picked up right where they left off on Tuesday, winning by a 3-0 scoreline.
U.S. forward Carli Lloyd got on the scoresheet early. Just 12 minutes in, Lloyd buried a failed Chilean clearance, hitting it one time on a half volley to beat goalkeeper Claudia Endler.
Chile earned a free kick in the 23rd minute and appeared to equalize but were whistled offside. Two decoy kicks prior to the start of the set piece from the Chileans led to a one-on-one opportunity with American goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, but the near-side assistant referee called the Chilean forward offside.
Three minutes later the USWNT doubled its lead. Midfielder Julie Ertz headed in a corner kick that deflected off Endler and into the net. The goal didn’t come without controversy, as it appeared that forward Mallory Pugh took a heavy touch that knocked the ball out of bounds prior to the corner being awarded. The center official saw it otherwise and allowed the United States to take the corner and extend its lead.
Just before halftime, Carli Lloyd got her brace. The American forward buried a lofted ball from Tierna Davidson from another corner kick. The goal allowed the U.S. to extend its lead to 3-0.
The focus shifted to defense in the second half, as Endler put on a show for the fans in attendance and those watching worldwide. She made six saves in total, many of which were spectacular.
Her top moment might have come from a save she didn’t make. The United States were awarded a penalty kick in the 81st minute Lloyd stepped up in search of a hat trick. Endler guessed the correct direction, but the American legend pushed the ball just wide of the post.
Neither team found the back of the net and the score finished at 3-0. The win guarantees another knockout round appearance for the United States, with first place up for grabs on Thursday against Sweden.
USWNT head coach Jill Ellis made seven changes to the starting lineup Sunday afternoon from the group that won 13-0 last week. When the final whistle blew, every field player for the Stars & Stripes had played meaningful minutes in this tournament. This could prove beneficial as the tournament progresses.
Lloyd does it again
With her brace on Sunday, Carli Lloyd became the oldest player to score twice in a Women’s World Cup. She also is the first player to score in six straight Women’s World Cup games. The 36-year-old New Jersey native looks like she has plenty left in the tank to drive the United States to a fourth World Cup title.
It’s the group clash everyone has been waiting for. The United States and Sweden finally meet on Thursday afternoon. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET and can be seen on FOX.