Lloyd brace carries USWNT to victory over Norway

uswnt algarve

by MC BOUSQUETTE
Staff Writer

A second half Carli Lloyd brace helped the United States Women’s National Team emerge 2-1 victors over Norway in their first match of the Algarve Cup.

Ada Hederberg beat Hope Solo to give Norway the lead heading into the half, but Lloyd’s heroics pushed the USWNT in front for good.

The United States went on the offensive early, with a consistently strong push for the attack. Abby Wambach continues to show why she is the starting U.S. striker, earning her first attempt on goal in the second minute off a corner. A multitude of other attempts came, with a notably close effort by Lloyd in the 8th minute which was met by an impressive save. Ali Krieger navigated the Norwegian defenders well several times, most notably beating all but the goalkeeper in a missed shot on goal in the 13th minute.

Alex Morgan’s attempts to get to goal began in bursts, but she was consistently beat by physical Norwegian defenders before she was even able to attempt shots. She put Norway in danger in the 30th minute, but was called offsides in her attempt. Christen Press hit the post in another result of the improved US momentum shortly there after.

The first half was filled with attempt after attempt by the United States, both directly by forwards and by collaborative crosses and set-ups, but it was Norway who opened the game’s scoring in the 42nd minute in a rush forward, when forward Ada Hederberg, left wide open by Morgan Brian, torpedoed a shot in off the bottom of the crossbar. Though Hope Solo did get a touch on the goal, the fault was not her own. Norway led the US 1-0 at the half.

The second half commenced with a quashed Norwegian offensive, answered by a shot directly into keeper Silje Vesterbekkmo by Morgan who had ventured far out of goal to the top left edge of the box.  Meghan Klingenberg came in for Lori Chalupny at 51st minute, as the first US sub of the match, and Amy Rodriguez came in for Abby Wambach shortly thereafter.  Solo, relatively unchallenged other than the Norwegian goal in the first half, stopped an aggressive shot in the 53rd minute with a dynamic save.

Carli Lloyd, in a 20-yard shot from the right side into the far left corner of the goal, tied the game 1-1 only 11 minutes into the second half, leading the USWNT to a dominant half.

In the 61st minute, Christen Press was awarded a penalty in the box off a Norwegian handball. Carli Lloyd took the penalty, successfully nailing the shot high and center to take the United States ahead 2-1.

The U.S. pressure continued.  Morgan Brian connected with Alex Morgan in the 66th minute, leading to the third shot by Morgan to be saved by Vesterbekkmo. Lloyd connected with Press on a cross in the 69th minute, but Press missed the mark wide on her header. Norway’s Marcu answered seven minutes later, in another important save

Coach Ellis inserted Tobin Heath for Christen Press and Sydney Leroux for Alex Morgan with just over ten minutes left in the match, though Rapinoe remained out until after stoppage time had begun. Leroux attempted a shot from 25 yards out, which was deflected into a corner. Leroux managed another attempt just minutes before the conclusion, but was unsuccessful.

Today’s US victory marks their second in a row, subsequent to their 1-0 win against England.

The USWNT will play Switzerland next on Friday at 11:30 a.m.