Alex Morgan Scores 18th Career Brace;
USA Next Faces Mexico Again in Houston on April 8 at 12:30 p.m. CT on FOX
USA took early control against Mexico and never relinquished its dominance, rolling past its Concacaf opponent with a 4-1 win in front of 14,360 fans at EverBank Field. Goals by Mallory Pugh and Carli Lloyd bookended an Alex Morgan brace to put the USA up 4-0 before Mexico grabbed a late consolation tally.
It was all USA in the first half with the home team out-shooting Mexico 10-2 and maintaining 76.4 percent of the possession. The USA finished with a 20-9 margin in shots. The USA had an early chance when Megan Rapinoe connected with Morgan Brian in front of the goal but Brian’s shot was saved by Mexico and Houston Dash goalkeeper Bianca Henninger, who is a former U.S. youth international. Rapinoe would get her assist a few minutes later when she poked the ball to Pugh inside the penalty area and the 19-year-old finished from close range.
In the second half, the U.S. extended its lead with three goals in four minutes as Morgan scored twice, in the 51st and 53rd minutes, with Lloyd getting her 99th career goal in the 54th. Mexico pulled one back via Katie Johnson, who plays for the NWSL’s Sky Blue FC, but never seriously threatened to mount a comeback as the USA finished the game with a 20-9 shots advantage.
Next, the U.S. WNT travels to Houston, Texas, for the second of the two-game set of friendlies against Mexico. The teams will meet on Sunday, April 8 (12:30 p.m. CT; FOX) at BBVA Compass Stadium, home of the NWSL’s Houston Dash and MLS’s Houston Dynamo.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Mallory Pugh (Megan Rapinoe), 6th minute: U.S. center back Tierna Davidson intercepted a ball at midfield and passed it to Morgan, who turned toward goal and slid a pass into space at the top of the box for Rapinoe. On a full run, Rapinoe beat charging Mexico goalkeeper Bianca Henninger to the ball and slid to poke it to Pugh in the middle. Pugh smashed the ball into the top of the net from close range as two defenders closed on her. USA 1, MEX 0.
USA – Alex Morgan (penalty kick) – 51st minute: Morgan was brought down inside the penalty box on the left side by Annia Mejia as she was getting separation toward the goal and the referee immediately pointed to the spot. Morgan sent an excellent shot to the lower right corner just past Mexico goalkeeper Bianca Henninger, who guessed correctly but was unable to stop the well-placed attempt. USA 2, MEX 0.
USA – Alex Morgan (Lindsey Horan) – 53rd minute: Lindsey Horan slid a pass to Morgan, who was making a run from the middle to the left side of the box. With pinpoint accuracy, Morgan fired a shot across the face of goal to the opposite corner where the ball pinged off the inside of the right post and rolled in for her 18th career brace. USA 3, MEX 0.
USA – Carli Lloyd (Lindsey Horan) – 54th minute: Lindsey Horan ran down a ball on the left side of the penalty area and had time to put out Lloyd with a perfect pass into the middle of the box. Lloyd kept her first-time shot low and tucked it inside the left post from about seven yards out only seconds after coming in for Andi Sullivan. It was her 99th career goal. USA 4, MEX 0.
MEX – Katie Johnson (Ariana Calderon), 64th minute: From 15 yards inside the USA half, Ariana Calderon redirected a lofted pass in the air with a slight header, sending it between the two U.S. center backs. Katie Johnson, a former college star at USC and current forward for Sky Blue FC, chased the ball down and as U.S. WNT goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher came far out of her net to challenge, lifted the ball over her and into the net. USA 4, MEX 1. FINAL.
– U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –
Match: USA 4-1 Mexico
Date: April 5, 2018
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: EverBank Field; Jacksonville, Fla.
Kickoff: 7:15 p.m. ET
Weather: 64 degrees; Partly cloudy
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 16-Emily Sonnett, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 17-Tierna Davidson, 19-Crystal Dunn; 3-Andi Sullivan (10-Carli Lloyd, 53), 6-Morgan Brian (20-Allie Long, 71), 9-Lindsey Horan; 11-Mallory Pugh (4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 77), 13-Alex Morgan (capt.) (22-Ashley Hatch, 80), 15-Megan Rapinoe (21-Savannah McCaskill, 71)
Substitutes: 18-Jane Campbell, 25-Hailie Mace
Head coach: Jill Ellis
MEX: 1-Bianca Henninger; 2-Kenti Robles, 13-Annia Mejía (23-Christina Murillo, 57), 3-Bianca Sierra, 5-Mónica Flores (22-Greta Espinoza, 46); 7-Cristina Ferral (8-Ariana Calderón, 46), 6-Karla Nieto (4-Vanessa Flores, 78), 19-Katie Johnson (21-Renae Cuéllar,76); 11-Mónica Ocampo (capt.) (17-María Sánchez, 76), 10-Stephany Mayor, 18-Kiana Palacios
Substitutes: 9-Anisa Guajardo, 12-Cecilia Santiago,14-Jocelyn Orejel, 16-Marcela Valera
Head coach: Roberto Medina
Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 20 / 9
Shots on Goal: 6 / 1
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 3 / 4
Fouls: 7 / 10
Offside: 4 / 0
Referee: Cardella Samuels (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Jennifer Garner (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Princess Brown (JAM)
4th Official: Christina Unkel (USA)
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