The United States Women’s National Team dominated again but goalkeeper Christiane Endler of Chile kept the score line from getting out of hand in a 3-0 U.S. win at Parc des Princes in Paris. Carli Lloyd scored twice and Julie Ertz added a goal with all of the scoring taking place in the first half. With the win, the U.S. clinched a spot in the knockout stages, going back to the top of the group on goal differential with a date with Sweden looming Thursday for Group F supremacy.
The United States had its best scoring chances in the second 45 minutes but Endler put on a show to keep the U.S. from extending its lead, primarily torturing Christen Press, who had numerous golden opportunities to score. Still, the U.S. was able to improve to 3-0-0 in the all-time series against Chile, now outscoring La Roja Femenina 10-0 in three meetings.
Jill Ellis made seven changes for the second game of the competition in a nearly full squad rotation. Alyssa Naeher returned in goal, with Abby Dahlkemper, Ertz, and Lindsey Horan all remaining from Tuesday’s lineup, although Ertz pushed up into the midfield. Tierna Davidson, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Orlando Pride defender Ali Krieger started with Dahlkemper on the back line. Ertz was flanked by Horan and Morgan Brian, while the forward line consisted of (left to right) Press, Lloyd, and Mallory Pugh.
Mesdames et Messieurs, live from Paris, your #USACHI lineup for Sunday Fútbol.#OneNationOneTeam pic.twitter.com/y9gkhxj4J9— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) June 16, 2019
The USWNT wasted no time getting a good scoring chance. An early corner cross was punched out by Endler but fell perfectly for Brian in the box. The midfielder got under her shot and it sailed over the bar as the opportunity was wasted.
Brian then made a slashing run down the right and put in a dangerous cross that would have been deflected in for an own goal if not for a terrific save from Endler. Lloyd pounced on the rebound from a tough angle and it squirted through the keeper but Endler recovered before it crossed the line in the fourth minute.
Lloyd opened the scoring in the 11th minute. Dahlkemper’s long searching ball intended for Press was headed down by the defense but Lloyd ran onto it and struck a rocket on the half volley into the side netting to make it 1-0. It was a record-setting goal for Lloyd, who scored in her sixth consecutive World Cup match.
WHAT A GOAL FROM CARLI LLOYD!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 16, 2019
Dream start for the USA! pic.twitter.com/txYUkQTCTN
It took Chile 20 minutes to get possession in the attacking third but it resulted in an offside. Two minutes later, Chile should have scored. Claudia Soto’s delivery of a cheeky set piece — which included multiple run-ups to the ball — fell into the box. Naeher came off her line but then made a complete mess of things when she saw an onrushing Chilean attacker coming at her. The ball skipped into the goal but the flag was up for Carla Guerrero being offside, preventing a tying goal.
The U.S. lead doubled in the 26th minute but shouldn’t have. A corner was awarded after it Pugh had touched the ball over the end line before crossing off a defender. Davidson fired in a cross off the ensuing corner and Ertz provided a laser beam of a header that Endler couldn’t keep out and the USWNT led 2-0.
Stop us if you've heard this before... Julie Ertz at the near post!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 16, 2019
She scores her 1st career #FIFAWWC goal to double the @USWNT lead! pic.twitter.com/S2DpnurNdf
Chile finally managed to get a corner against a USWNT so unconcerned about the opponent’s attack that the team was seldom in any semblance of a back four. The back line was often either a back one or two, with the fullbacks pushed far up into the attacking third below the attacking line. Press made an outstanding move to free herself for a shot in the 35th minute but it was deflected out for a corner kick and the U.S. struck again on the set piece.
Davidson delivered another wicked ball through the area and Lloyd ran onto it and headed it down inside the back post to earn a brace, becoming the oldest woman — at age 36 — to score a brace in a World Cup match, breaking a week-old record set by Brazil’s Christiane. She became just the 10th player to score 10 World Cup goals and third U.S. player, joining Michelle Akers and Abby Wambach.
CARLI LLOYD AGAIN!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 16, 2019
Her second goal of the game makes it 10 for her #FIFAWWC career and puts the @USWNT up 3-0. pic.twitter.com/aM9lWOyjVL
The last good opportunity of the first half came off another U.S. set piece. The delivery went through the area to Brian, who laid off a nice ball for Pugh. The Washington Spirit attacker made a mess of her shot though, getting way under it and sending it high over the bar. After two minutes of stoppage time, the first half ended with the U.S. holding a 3-0 advantage for the second straight game in the tournament.
Jessica McDonald made her World Cup debut — at age 31 — coming on for Ertz to start the second half.
Three minutes after the break Press was sent down the left but she not only saw her shot stopped on a fantastic save by Endler, but she was also offside. It’s a pity Endler won’t get credit for the amazing stop.
Endler did get credit for her next two outstanding saves. The first was to get a foot on an effort by Horan after a cross on the break from Brian in the 55th minute.
WHAT A SAVE! Lindsey Horan has goal No. 4 on her foot but Christiane Endler comes up with a kick save and a beauty. #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/0BREXwNgQ1— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 16, 2019
The second came three minutes later when Press smashed a volley headed for the corner but the Chilean goalkeeper was again equal to the task.
McDonald hit the post in the 62nd minute as the U.S. continued to search for a fourth goal.
OFF THE POST! A beautiful effort from Jess McDonald just misses! #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/oaFjYgJRQI— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 16, 2019
Moments later, Press freed herself in the area with an insanely good move but then crossed between her lines of attack and the U.S. chance evaporated.
In the 67th, Endler got all the way across goal to make a filthy one-handed save to deny a Press header as the Chile goalkeeper continued to put on a show and keep the score from getting out of hand.
ENDLER AGAIN!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 16, 2019
The Chile goalkeeper is standing on her head, this time robbing Christen Press. #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/xdmRTyIvc8
Lloyd was denied a hat trick in the 72nd minute when she popped up a header over Endler but it caught the crossbar and stayed out. Two minutes later, Lloyd made a crafty play to send Press down the left side of the area but again Endler foiled the Utah Royals striker’s scoring bid.
VAR got involved late in the game. Allie Long was pulled down at the top of the area on a set piece and the referee ran over to have a look. Although the hold began outside the area and it looked like Long was falling before crossing the line, a penalty was awarded. Lloyd stepped up to try to complete her hat trick but she pulled her shot just inches wide of the left post.
Carli Lloyd hits her penalty wide and misses a chance to become the first woman to score 2 career #FIFAWWC hat tricks. pic.twitter.com/90L2QEJsqy— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 16, 2019
The game saw itself out after that in a series of fits and starts and the USWNT had improved to 2-0-0 in group play in a 3-0 win that could have been exceedingly lopsided had another keeper been playing for Chile. Endler’s excellence kept the score line respectable in the end.
The U.S. out-shot Chile, 26-1 (9-0 on target), held 68% of the possession, and was much more accurate in passing (84%-67%), winning 15 corners to Chile’s one.
Things will get tougher for the USWNT now with Sweden (2-0-0) on tap for Thursday at 3 p.m. ET in the final Group F game. The U.S. would win the group with a victory or a draw.