HARRISON, N.J. (May 26, 2019) – The U.S. Womens National Team closed out its three-game Send-Off Series, Presented by Volpi Foods, with a 3-0 win against neighbors Mexico before 26,332 fans at Red Bull Arena. Tobin Heaths 11th minute strike combined with second half goals from Mallory Pugh and Christen Press lifted the USA to victory in the teams final preparation match for the 2019 FIFA Womens World Cup, which kicks off on June 7 in France.
The USA dominated first half play, generating a 15-1 shot advantage, putting seven on goal. Mexico goalkeeper Cecilia Santiagos early mistake gifted Heath the opportunity to score the opening goal, and she duly obliged after a bit of nifty footwork to beat her defender. Shortly after Heaths opener, Santiago faced down an Alex Morgan breakaway and came up with a big save. Morgan nearly scored on another golden opportunity but just missed applying the finishing touch to a perfectly placed Megan Rapinoe cross.
As the game marched toward half time, the U.S. forced Santiago into a pair of impressive saves. The first one on a header just before half and the second on a volley by Crystal Dunn in first half stoppage time.
After the break, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made five subs bringing on Press for Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd for Morgan, Lindsay Horan for Rose Lavelle, Pugh for Becky Sauerbrunn and Allie Long for Dunn.
The changes made an immediate impact as Lloyd rounded Santiago in the opening moments of the second half, but her shot was cleared off the line. While Mexico then carved out two half chances, the U.S. resumed where it had left off in the first half and was unlucky not to add a second in the 67th minute when Lloyd once again got around Santiago but was whistled offside as she deposited the ball in the vacated net.
However, the USA would not be denied more goals on a day when they finished with a 25-3 shot advantage. On the second goal, Lloyd played provider as she beat a defender off the dribble and centered into a crowd of players in front of goal. Pugh met the pass and was able to drag the ball over the line in the 76th minute.
Press finished proceedings with her second strike of the year in the 88th minute. Julie Ertz slipped the ball to Press near the top of the box and she juked away from one defender before burying a low shot into the bottom right corner to cap the 3-0 win and an undefeated (3-0-0) Send-Off Series.
Up Next: The USA departs for the 2019 FIFA Womens World Cup on June 7 and will face Thailand in its opening Group F match on Tuesday, June 11 at Stade August-Delaune II in Reims (3 p.m. CT; FOX, Telemundo). The tournament that same day when the host nation France tackles South Korea. After its opening game, the USA plays Chile on June 16 at Parc des Princes in Paris (12 p.m. ET; FOX, Telemundo) before finishing group play against Sweden on June 20 at Stade Oceane in Le Havre (3 p.m. ET; FOX, Telemundo).
Goal Scoring Rundown: USA – Tobin Heath, 11th minute: A giveaway by Mexico goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago resulted in Heath receiving the ball just outside the penalty area. She beat the last remaining defender one-v-one to open up space for a shot from the middle of the box and buried the ball in the lower right side of the net for her 30th career goal. USA 1, MEX 0 [WATCH]
The Sunday afternoon game – which featured the National Anthem played by 96-year-old World War II veteran Pete Dupre on the harmonica – capped off a whirlwind couple of days for the team in the New York City area.
USA – Mallory Pugh (Carli Lloyd) 76th minute: Lloyd received the ball on the left side of the penalty area and beat her defender with a nice move to get free near the endline and center the ball into a crowd of players near the goal mouth. Pugh was on hand, jostling with a defender, and was able to poke the ball over the line near the left post for her 16th tally of her career. USA 2, MEX 0 [WATCH]
USA – Christen Press (Julie Ertz), 88th minute: The U.S. advanced the ball into the box, where Ertz played back to the top for Press, who fooled her defender with a nice faint to open up space for a shot across her body into the lower right corner of the net. USA 3, MEX 0 [WATCH] FINAL
Match: U.S. Womens National Team vs. Mexico Date: May 26, 2019 Competition: International Friendly Venue: Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F USA 1 2 3 MEX 0 0 0
United States forward Mallory Pugh (2) scoring a goal as Mexicos Cecilia Santiago (1), Daniela Espinosa (7), Joana Robles (8) and Yamile Franco (17) tried to stop her. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
USA – Tobin Heath 11th minute
USA – Mallory Pugh (Carli Lloyd) 76
USA – Christen Press (Julie Ertz) 88
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley OHara, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (2-Mallory Pugh, 46), 19-Crystal Dunn (20-Allie Long, 46); 8-Julie Ertz, 3-Samantha Mewis, 16-Rose Lavelle (9-Lindsey Horan, 46); 17-Tobin Heath (14-Emily Sonnett, 71), 13-Alex Morgan (capt.) (10-Carli Lloyd, 46), 15-Megan Rapinoe (23-Christen Press, 46)
Substitutes not used: 18-Ashlyn Harris, 21-Adrianna Franch, 6-Morgan Brian, 11-Ali Krieger, 12-Tierna Davidson, 22-Jessica McDonald
In the 88th minute, Christen Press added her name to the score sheet with a kick from just outside the 18-yard box for her 48th career goal in a U.S. jersey.
MEX: 1-Cecilia Santiago (capt.); 2-Kenti Robles, 13-Arianna Romero (3-Jocelyn Orejel, 89), 4-Rebeca Bernal, 5-Jimena López; 7-Daniela Espinosa (18-Alexia Delgado, 90+1), 6-Karla Nieto, 11-Lizbeth Ovalle (17-Yamilé Franco, 63), 8-Joana Robles (14-Belén Cruz, 85), 10-Katty Martinez (20-Dinora Garza, 85), 9-Kiana Palacios (19-Andrea Sánchez, 82)
MEX – Kenti Robles (caution) 38th minute
4th Official: Miranda Cibeles (SLV)
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