In Vlatko Andonovski’s second pursuit of hardware at the helm of the U.S. Women’s National Team, things got off to a positive start on Thursday in the opening round of the SheBeleives Cup in Orlando, Florida, as the Americans cruised past England by a 2-0 margin.
The win makes it seven-consecutive clean sheets for the team in competitive matches, dating back to the World Cup semi-final against the very same England side in July.
The first half proved to be frustrating for the USWNT, as it amassed 11 shots and forced England keeper Carly Telford into four saves early on. A trio of wasteful opportunities from Carli Lloyd headlined the scoreless half along with a late penalty shout when Tobin Heath slowed play down in the box and was forcibly dispossessed by Alex Greenwood.
Things picked up quickly in the second half for the Americans though, in the 53rd minute Christen Press found space from distance and tucked one in behind Telford with style.
Making up for the first-half mishaps, Lloyd doubled the lead two minutes later when she snuck past the English backline and buried a close-range opportunity when Lindsey Horan connected with her in stride.
The night also served as the 100th USWNT appearance for midfielder Julie Ertz, who nearly celebrated the occasion with a goal in the 79th minute. Lloyd found her wide-open and she hit the net on the play, only to learn that she was a whisker offside.
The team moves on to face Spain at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey on Sunday.