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USWNT tops Nigeria to close out pre-Olympic friendlies

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The U.S. Women’s National Team’s unbeaten streak extended to 42 on Tuesday night as the Americans finished their pre-Olympic tournament with a 2-0 win over Nigeria.

Christen Press marked her name in history as the very first goalscorer in Austin’s brand new Q2 Stadium and it injected some much-needed excitement into the USWNT to close out the first half.

Nigeria got caught napping on a botched clearance and two dangerous Americans combined to make them pay. Carli Lloyd caught the mistake and Press was there to slot it home for the first goal in Q2 Stadium history.

Further, she climbed up the all-time USWNT scoring ranks and now has sole possession of ninth place.

 

Lynn Williams came in as a late substitute and made her mark in stoppage time of the second half. She didn’t have to do much, getting it on the break with an open net for her 11th international goal.

Nigeria produced more shots in the first half and gave the USWNT the best test of the three friendlies, overall.

Also, the Americans easily could have been down a woman had VAR been on hand to review a questionable play from Kristie Mewis in the first half.

On the Olympic bubble, Mewis did not do herself any favors with a 26th-minute yellow card earned by kicking at Nigerian goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi on a dead play. She ultimately had an unproductive night and was subbed off in the 61st minute.

The minutes before and in between goals saw the Americans struggle for material success, and the flashy opportunities that fans are accustomed to were all offsides or off target.

Closing out the pre-Olympic series with a win leaves things on a positive note, but the USWNT is a victim of its own success from years passed and did not inspire much confidence in the finale. Two opportunistic goals made the difference, and what would have been hard-earned goals on tactful buildups resulted in blanks.

Coach Vlatko Andonovski previously stated that he intended to select the Olympic 18 before the first of two friendlies against Mexico, which kicks off on July 1.

Comments

  1. not sure about Rapinoe, we’ve looked better when she’s off the field for all of these games. I’m not some hater, I’m a huge fan. Dunn has had too many giveaways being too aggressive lately, again last night, but also recycled and opened up the weakside by doing it; she needs to do that more when it’s not on in front of her imo; her defending was great tho; sometimes it looks like she is so eager to show her O that affects her decision making negatively and she forces it forward

    Reply
    • Agreed BB. When Crystal moved upfield into the “O” area, she ran into a big,strong, athletic defender and was totally over-matched. Even Megan struggled to get anything going on that side. BTW, I watched the France-Nigeria match at the 2019 W/C and any team that can play France that close in France has to be taken seriously.
      I would like to see the US set up a “friendly” in the future when with both teams at Full Strength. Maybe invite them to the SBC next year.

      Reply
  2. Comment on Kristie Mewis by Tyler

    Tyler mentions in his post that Kristie Mewis with a VAR review could have been RED-CARDED by the Referee for kicking at the ball lodged under the legs of the Nigerian Goalkeeper. My observation of the play was that in going for the ball, the GK was in a pile-up with the ball lodged under her legs. I did not see any attempt by the GK to dislodge the ball. Mewis kept kicking at it, until I heard the Referee blow the whistle, and then everything came to a stop. Mewis was given a Yellow Card for kicking at a DEAD PLAY..

    FIFA Rule 12:16 says a GK is in control of the ball when held in his/her hands or with a hand and another part of the body. “HOWEVER, A BALL WHICH IS ONLY BEING CONTROLLED BY THE GK USING MEANS OTHER THAN THE HANDS, IS OPEN TO OTHERWISE LEGAL CHALLENGES BY AN OPPONENT”. If the Referee wants to stop the action due to an apparent injury to the GK, he/she needs only to blow the whistle. Then play would resume with a dropped ball. In what I saw on TV, there was no attempt by the GK to dislodge the ball from her legs and Mewis continued to kick at it until such time as she heard the whistle. Based on my observations and the rules, Mewis committed no foul, and no card either Yellow or Red was in order. BTW, the referee also missed a number of fouls whereby a defender charged the opponent with outstretched arms and pushed her away. Those were NOT “Legal Charges “which is shoulder to shoulder”.

    Reply
  3. If you thought that Nigeria looked like a good team, and was tough to score on, you are right. If you can remember back to the 2019 W/C, Nigeria BEAT South Korea 2-0 and only lost to France 1-0 on a late PK during the Group Stage. So Nigeria Advanced to the Knockout Round where they ultimately Lost to Germany. OK so why aren’t they going to the Olympics? Unfortunately, during qualifying, they had 2 home and home ties vs the Ivory Coast whom them dominated out on the field of play. However, they did not advance, owing to the away goal rule. Nigeria is considered by far as the best team in Africa. So they join Germany & France on the Sidelines of the Olympics. BTW, they tied Portugal 3-3. To put that into perspective, Portugal only allowed
    2 goals total in 7 European Cup qualifying matches, and only 1 to the USA.

    I felt our USWNT was playing cautiously after Rose Lavelle turned an ankle. Otherwise, considering how talented our opponent was, I felt good about a 2-0 win, where we had 4 starters out.

    Reply
    • They also lost to Jamaica. Despite your hype these were three bad teams, but this is Olympic prep they should have been games we’d win without having to play our best. I also thought we down shifted after Lavelle’s injury.

      Reply

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