Kealia Ohai shines on U.S. debut

Houstan Dash midfielder Kealia Ohai made a big impression on her debut for the U.S. women’s national team with a goal in her side’s 5-1 victory over Switzerland.

The emphatic win over the European side was the second in the space of the week as the United States had beaten Switzerland 4-0 just four days earlier.

Kealia Ohai shines on U.S. debut
Consul General Anne Callaghan welcomes the USWNT” (CC BY 2.0) by US Embassy Canada

Ohai’s strike, 48 seconds after she came off the bench, is the fastest by any debutant in U.S. women’s national team history, one second faster than the previous best set by Lynn Williams in the previous game against Switzerland.

The Houston player made a claim for a starting spot in her ten minute spell on the pitch and will be hoping to continue putting in strong performances for her club side in order to try and earn a place in the U.S. team in the near future and hopefully a spot at the World Cup in 2019 in France. The U.S. will be favourites to win that competition but check out the best odds and offers for the competition at before backing Jillian Ellis’ side for glory.

The U.S team started their friendly against Switzerland slowly in Minneapolis where they conceded just seven minutes into the game. Lara Dickenmann’s shot was rebounded into the path of Sandrine Mauron who made no mistake from close range to give her side a surprising lead.

It did not take the hosts long to get back on level terms and it came on the 25th minute when Carli Lloyd scored the first of her two goals. Her opener came from 30-yards out with an impressive strike to continue her hot run of form.

Lloyd’s second of the match arrived in the second half. She was able to steer home Christen Press’ deflected shot to give the U.S. the lead. Switzerland had been defending deep since their opener but their resistance was broken following Lloyd’s brace.

Two minutes later Press found the scoresheet herself to give the home side a bit of breathing space. The class of the U.S side was starting to show as the Chicago Red Stars player found the space she needed in the box to fire past the Switzerland ‘keeper.

Not long after the hour mark, the U.S. took a 4-1 lead through Crystal Dunn. Lynn Williams picked out the Washington Spirit winger perfectly before the latter found the back of the net.

With a three goal advantage in her side’s favour, it was the perfect chance for Ohai to come off the bench and shine in Minneapolis and she did just that.

"Carli Lloyd - Midfielder, Houston Dash" (CC BY 2.0) by araizavictor
Carli Lloyd – Midfielder, Houston Dash” (CC BY 2.0) by araizavictor

Ohai may play more of a prominent role next month for the U.S. national team as Lloyd will not feature as she is getting married. The 34-year old has now scored 96 goals for the national team and is closing in on a century, however, she may have to wait for 2017 to reach that landmark.

If Ohai is to be the long-term replacement for Lloyd, it will be big shoes to fill but for now her sole concentration is to become a regular in the national team and gain as much experience as she possibly can.


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