It was one of the more disappointing matches in recent memory for the United States Women’s National Team on Tuesday night, as the U.S. fell to France, 3-0 in the final match of the 2017 SheBelieves Cup at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. For the second straight match the Americans were kept scoreless, despite out-shooting their opponents tonight.
The French side struck quick and early, with two opening goals coming in the eighth and ninth minutes. Eugénie Le Sommer was brought down by U.S. starting goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher in the box in the seventh minute, and veteran Camille Abily converted the ensuing spot kick.
Less than two minutes later, the French doubled their advantage. Le Sommer linked up with a long ball from Wendie Renard and coolly dispatched it past Naeher.
Renard to Le Sommer. Wow. France up, 2-0. pic.twitter.com/2vcDz21ke7— Our Game Magazine (@OurGameMagazine) March 8, 2017
For the remainder of the half, the U.S struggled to create meaningful opportunities, and the connection between the midfield and forwards continued to struggle. However, a chance in the 24th minute came when a header was cleared off the line, which was the closest the USWNT came to scoring all night.
In the second half, the French added a third, as Abily recorded a brace with a near-post finish. Eve Périsset sent a cross into the box, after attacking down the right wing, and the U.S back line was unable to properly mark Abily, who recorded her 35th goal for France in her international career.
Wonderful from France. pic.twitter.com/0MqO2zlzNK— Our Game Magazine (@OurGameMagazine) March 8, 2017
This was the first time the USWNT has lost back-to-back matches on home soil since 2000. Additionally, it was largest margin of defeat since losing to Brazil, 4-0, in 2007.
After making seven changes to the lineup from the England match, tonight’s starting XI was almost a complete replica of the Germany match. The only change was Rose Lavelle replacing Crystal Dunn.
Overall, the back line looked shaky at times and the experiments in the midfield and up top continue. Miscommunication was apparent throughout the night. Coach Jill Ellis will have a lot to work on after the U.S performance during the competition.
In net, Naeher did not have the best outing and most likely won’t come out of the tournament as the outright number one.
Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan came on late in the match as a substitute for Lynn Williams. Ali Kreiger and Ashlyn Harris did not play.
The French end the tournament in first place, with Germany taking second place. England finished ahead of the U.S. in third, despite losing to the Germans 1-0 in the earlier fixture on Tuesday. The USWNT finishes in last place with a minus-three goal differential, and only one goal scored in the tournament.