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USWNT cruises past Chile in qualifying tuneup


The U.S. Women’s National Team may have recorded another resounding victory in a friendly, this time a 3-0 result against Chile at the StubHub Center, but the Friday night encounter was hardly usual fare for the reigning world champions.

Despite the three goals, it was an incident that led to a disallowed goal that may be the most memorable moment of the match. After Fernanda Pinilla fouled Tobin Heath to concede a penalty in the 45th minute, Christen Press got ready to take it, only to have to wait a minute after a brief scuffle. Finally, Press took the penalty and scored, but only after the halftime whistle did it become clear that referee Katja Koroleva called the goal off, citing encroachment.

At that point, though, the U.S. was already 2-0 up, the first coming after only eight minutes. Heath’s corner kick landed in the middle of traffic, and Tierna Davidson jumped high enough to get her head to it and score her first international goal.

The second came in the 32nd minute, once again off a set piece. Heath took another corner, and while Julie Ertz got her head on the ball, the ball was ultimately sent into the back of the net by Chilean defender Carla Guerrero.

Up to that point, the visitors had done their best to press the U.S. and force them into turning over the ball. Eventually, though, the USWNT was able to win the physical battle, as it frequently does, and really dominate the match.

The U.S. was able to get a third in the 48th minute, and Press was finally able to score a goal the day she was being honored for earning 100 caps. Mallory Pugh received the ball near the far post and elected to send the ball across the goal line, with the forward waiting near the opposite post. From a tight angle, she promptly sent the ball into the back of the net for her 45th international goal.

The game ended with only the three goals, though not for a lack of effort on the USWINT’s part. The team spent a majority of the second half attacking the Chile goal, though the finishing ultimately let them down.

The match extends the USWNT’s unbeaten run to 20 matches, having lost last a more than a year ago against Australia.


  1. I thought the U. S. had their best effort of the year against Chile. They appear to be getting ready for the WC Qualifiers and should ease their way through that competition. They actually scored 5 legal goals, so the score was actually 5-0. First of all, the referee not allowing a PK re-kick because of encroachment was 100% wrong. The FiFA rules allow for only ONE result when a PK is scored, and there is either encroachment by the kicking team, or encroachment by both teams: The kick MUST be re-taken!!!! There is no alternative under any circumstance, short of abandoning the match. This has to be one of the most embarrassing moments in the history of female soccer officiating. To have an official, who does not know the rules of the game, do a match between 2 World Cup Qualifiers, is almost mind boggling. Some apologies must be given to the U. S. team members for having to endure such an outrage. This is especially true for Christen Press who had missed a couple of PKs at critical times in her career and needed a solid one to regain her confidence. Her
    shot into the side netting was perfectly taken.

    The other disallowed goal scored was the shot by Carli Lloyd, who hit the crossbar and the ball came down inside the goal line, owing to its forward momentum, and then with the reverse spin on the ball, quickly backed out into the field of play. Stop-action photos posted on-line show the ball across the line. This was the same shot that Goeff Hurst made for England in the 1966 W/C (I believe), which was not allowed, and which knocked England out of the W/C.
    However, I could swallow this one without choking. But not knowing the rules is UNFORGIVABLE!!!!!!!

    • You have your facts a little bit muddled on the Geoff Hurst goal — it was actually an opposite sort of situation. England won the 1966 World Cup, and it was largely down to a similar shot from Hurst in extra time of the final, which many feel did not actually cross the line but was allowed as a goal, with Hurst adding a final goal to complete his hat trick and cement a 4-2 win.
      In an ironic echo 44 years later, Frank Lampard had a would-be equalizer and similar strike wrongly disallowed in a Round of 16 match vs Germany at WC 2010. Germany went on to win 4-1.
      History lessons aside, I agree with your take. The referee was absolutely terrible and did not seem to understand basic procedure on the PK debacle. No big deal in the end given the gulf in class between the sides. But weird to see such amateurism– high school referees wouldn’t make a mistake like that.

      • Correct GP. I got that one confused with a similar situation in a less meaningful, but televised match. With the TV cameras available in today’s soccer matches, there should be fewer and fewer erroneous calls on whether the ball crossed the line. In a recent College match with UCLA and Penn State on ESPNU, the P/S goalie leaped up to pick off a crossing pass and with a slight nudge from a UCLA forward, pulled the ball back and then realizing she was on the goal line, pulled the ball forward. However, the TV replay showed that the ball for an instant, was over the line, and that was all it took, and referee ruled a goal and a 1-0 win for UCLA. I was a little surprised that the shot from Lloyd was not given a 2nd look even in a
        friendly. Matches like these, can also present opportunities to sharpen up an officials skills
        in reviewing consequential plays, for times when it really counts for something.

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