USA cruises into knock out stages

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The United States women’s national team’s stayed perfect at the 2019 World Cup by beating Chile 3-0 on Sunday, with a familiar face leading the way. It wasn’t the attacking outburst we saw in the 13-0 win over Thailand in the opener, but against a more formidable opponent, Carli Lloyd started in attack for Alex Morgan and delivered two goals. It could have been more after several misses, including a penalty kick, but three was more than enough with Julie Ertz adding the other as the U.S. clinched a spot in the round of 16.

Jill Ellis still went with a 4-3-3 but only four starters returned from the opener. The entire front three of Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Tobin Heath was replaced by Christen Press, Carli Lloyd and Mallory Pugh. There wasn’t a huge drop off or anything, despite 10 less goals in this game. The Americans were sharp in attack and could have had seven or eight goals had it not been for the saves of Chile’s Christiane Endler in goal.

Lloyd’s first goal was a brilliant strike into the far side of the goal that proved to be the winner:

Lloyd scored in her sixth straight Women’s World Cup game here with her two strikes, giving her the tournament record. It could have been more, but the 36-year-old has proven she can still contribute big time.

Her second goal of the game makes it 10 for her #FIFAWWC career and puts the @USWNT up 3-0. ??????

Aside from the goals, she was lively. She connected on a couple headers off set pieces, she hit the post a couple times, and she even had a cheeky pass to send Christen Press through that nearly ended in a goal.

The defense stayed fresh
The U.S. is going to get tested against Sweden, but with no shots on goal in this one by Chile, it has to make you wonder how the team will be defensively against a top opponent next time out. On the plus side, this was a physical game that forced the U.S. to defend a lot of set pieces, which they handled with little trouble. They need to be tested a bit more in the run of play, but there is no reason to believe this team won’t be ready. Crystal Dunn and Kelley O’Hara both were able to rest, and the defensive duo of Becky Sauerbrunn and Abby Dahlkemper didn’t allow even a look on goal, let alone a golden chance.