U.S. Women's National Team

USWNT cruises past New Zealand in Group G opener

Photo by John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports

Photo by John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports

The U.S. Women’s National Team will probably want some of their chances back after watching the highlights, but Jill Ellis’ side came away with a comfortable result in Wednesday’s Olympics opener in Rio de Janeiro.

Goals from Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan gave the USWNT a 2-0 win over New Zealand to kick off Group G play, while the All Whites failed to manage any shots on target in the match.

Lloyd, 34, provided the U.S. with the opener after nine minutes of play as the side’s captain headed home a Tobin Heath cross to give the defending World Cup champions a 1-0 lead.

Morgan doubled the U.S. advantage just a minute into the second stanza as the 27-year-old forward smashed her shot towards the near post from a tight angle, beating goalkeeper Erin Naylor.

The U.S. held a dominant amount of possession throughout the match, over 65 percent, leaving the All Whites with little room to create opportunities in the attack.

The victory keeps the USWNT unbeaten in 2016, as Ellis’ group have now gone 16 consecutive matches across all competitions without a loss. The U.S. will continue Group G play on Aug. 6 against France.

  • danny kissinger

    There’s a US soccer legend in our midst. Enjoy Carli while you can. She’s America’s Maradona.


  • Bill Minarik

    2 goals isn’t bad considering that is all NZ gave up in the entire WC against Sweden, Canada, and
    the Netherlands. However, the U.S. must beat, or possibly tie France in their match Saturday or
    else they will end up playing Germany in the first round of knockout play instead of France, the
    way the brackets have been laid out. If the U. S. wins Saturday, then France will have to play
    Germany in the first knockout round, similar to what happened in the WC, and the U. S. should be able to coast through to the Gold Medal Match. Weaknesses on the part of the U. S. continue
    to be scoring from set plays. If they want to continue to do short corners, they need to have something more sophisticated that what I have seen to date. Also, watching France score on 2
    free kicks is a good indicator of what the U. S. needs – A Free Kick specialist. I hate to keep nagging on one player, but unless Ally Long is doing a special assignment on defense, she looks
    terrible every time she gets the ball. I realize that she has some size to match up against some
    of the opponents taller players, but unless she is doing that effectively, (out of my sight) I don’t
    see her as a effective team component. If anyone else has an opinion, I would like to have them
    post it. A highlight of tonights match is the fact that the USWNT didn’t pick up any yellow cards.
    I seem to recall that Carli Lloyd had to see out the first knockout match in the WC due to Yellows.

    Also hope there were no injuries.

    In the match against France, the U; S. defense will be tested early on, as that is when France is
    the strongest. In the She Believes Cup, France could have had 3 or 4 goals in the 1st half, but
    luck was on the U. S. side, and we prevailed on a late goal when France tired in the humid
    weather on the East Coast. If France goes up 2-0, it could be all over, the way they looked
    tonight. It could be possible to see the U.S. playing for a tie, and then hoping to run up the score
    against Columbia to win the group on a goal differential tie-breaker.


  • chris

    If France goes 2-0 up? You mean like they did in the last Olympics? That one ended 4-2 to the US. 🙂


    • Bill Minarik

      That was then – This is now – You only need to look at Euro-17 Qualifying and see what type
      of a team they will present. However, the We-Believe-Cup was enough to make believers out
      of those who saw it. The U.S. was VERY fortunate to come out of that 1-0. The U.S., team which
      won 4-2, 4 years ago, was the better team. This time around the team which has their A Game
      in tact for 90 minutes will be the winner. If both do, it could very easily be a draw. But if one team
      gets up 2-0, that will pretty much do it for the Group Stage.


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