USWNT beats Mexico 4-0 in final match before Tokyo Olympics
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – The U.S. Women’s National Team put in a strong performance in its final match before departing for the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, defeating Mexico 4-0 to wrap up the 2021 WNT Send-Off Series.
In the first half, the U.S. scored in bunches in front of the 27,758 fans at Pratt & Rentschler Field, the largest crowd ever to watch the USWNT in state of Connecticut. Lindsey Horan got things started quickly with an impressive volley and Carli Lloyd added another just five minutes later on a diving header, while Christen Press forced a Mexico own goal and Tobin Heath scored her second goal in her second game back from injury.
The USWNT now heads to Japan riding a 44-match unbeaten streak, the second-longest in team history. The current run trails only a 51-match unbeaten streak from Dec. 2004 to Sept. 2007.
Following a more back-and-forth affair played in driving rain in the first Send-Off Series vs. Mexico match on Thursday, the U.S. wasted no time getting on the board in its final pre-Olympic tune-up. A dominant first half kicked off when Lloyd flicked a long ball with her head into the path of Horan and the midfielder executed a thundering finish. It was Lloyd’s sixth assist of the year, good for tops on the team. The goal was the 22 nd of her international career for Horan.
After a few menacing runs down the left wing in the game’s opening minutes, left back Crystal Dunn sent in a perfect cross for Lloyd at the center of the six-yard box. The 38-year-old finished the service with a clinical diving header to make it 2-0 and record her 126th career international goal, which ranks third in USWNT history.
A second flurry of U.S. goals came just before the break, sparked by Heath. After scoring on Thursday in her first USWNT game since Nov. of 2020, the forward struck another shot from distance that rebounded off the crossbar. An onrushing Press pounced on it and headed on frame, but the shot was spectacularly saved by Mexico goalkeeper Itzel González. The ball then bounced off the hand of retreating Mexico defender Reyna Reyes and into the goal.
The red-hot Press has now been directly involved in 37 goals in her last 37 games for the USWNT, scoring 16 goals and logging 18 assists. In addition, she served in the free kick that led to Rose Lavelle’s game-winner in the SheBelieves Cup vs. Canada, also drew the penalty kick which Lindsey Horan converted in the USA’s June 13 win over Jamaica and took the shot tonight that resulted in the own goal.
Just two minutes later, Samantha Mewis teed up Heath, finding the forward who executed a smooth first-time left-footed finish. Heading into her fourth Olympics, the goal marked Heath’s 35th career international tally, tying her with Sydney Leroux and April Heinrichs for 16th on the all-time USWNT scoring list.
The USA could have gone into halftime with an even larger lead, but beautifully crafted goal by Press was disallowed due to an inadvertent whistle from the referee Danielle Chesky, who also waved off a clear penalty kick on Heath after she was chopped down from behind inside the area.
The U.S. continued to threaten in the second half with a number of set-play opportunities. On her 36th birthday, forward Megan Rapinoe nearly scored off a free kick outside the box on the left side in the 50th minute, but the shot skimmed off the top of the crossbar. After knocking on the door in the first match against Mexico, forward Alex Morgan fired just wide in the 74th for her best chance of the evening. Down the stretch, U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski experimented with some formational wrinkles as the USWNT closed out the victory.
Next up, the USA will depart for Japan this week for its final preparations ahead of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament. The USWNT will face Sweden on July 21 in Tokyo (4:30 a.m. ET), New Zealand on July 24 in Satiama (7:30 a.m. ET) and Australia in Kashima (4:00 a.m. ET) in Group G play.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
USA – Lindsey Horan (Carli Lloyd), 6th: The USWNT got off to a fast start as Lloyd run under a long ball near the top of the penalty area and sent a looping header to Horan who was running into the right side of the penalty area. She met it eight yards out and smashed a perfect volley that screamed over the outstretched hands of Mexico goalkeeper Itzel Gonzalez to open the scoring with a bang. USA 1, MEX 0
USA – Carli Lloyd (Crystal Dunn), 11th: Working up the left flank, Dunn sent a service over several Mexican players and into the six-yard box. As it flew over the head of a leaping Mexico defender, it fell to Lloyd stationed right in the middle of the net. She dove to direct a bouncing header past Gonzalez for her third goal of 2021. USA 2, MEX 0
USA – Reyna Reyes (Own Goal), 37th: After scoring from distance on Thursday, Tobin Heath sent another shot towards goal from 30 yards out. Gonzalez leapt to deflect the shot off the crossbar, but an onrushing Christen Press was there to pounce on the rebound and sent a header on goal. Gonzalez once again made the first save, but the ball hit off Mexico defender Reyna Reyes and bounced into the net.
USA – Tobin Heath (Samantha Mewis), 39th: After forcing a turnover on the press, Mewis drove into the penalty area and as the Mexican defense closed in, and the dished to Heath near the penalty spot. She took a one-timed shot with her left foot to the left post past the diving Gonzalez for her second goal in as many games in 2021. USA 4, MEX 0
- The USA improves to 39-1-1 vs. Mexico, the fifth-most common opponent in USWNT history.
- The USWNT’s home unbeaten streak now stands at 58 games, which includes 53 wins and five draws. During that stretch, the U.S. has outscored its opponents 205-27, including a 71-1 margin during its last 19 matches.
- It’s the USA’s 20th-straight home victory, dating back to head coach Vlatko Andonovski’s first match in charge of the team in November of 2019.
- Andonovski is 22-0-1 in his first 23 games (two at the end of 2019, nine in 2020 and 12 so far in 2021), setting a record for the best start for a head coach in USWNT history.
- Lindsey Horan has scored or assisted in 12 of her last 20 appearances for the USA, netting 10 goals and seven assists.
- Samantha Mewis has scored or assisted in four of the USA’s last five outings.
- Lloyd has tallied a goal or assist in 15 of her last 25 USWNT appearances, with 13 goals and 11 assists during that stretch.
- Horan and Lloyd are the only two players to appear in every game for the USWNT so far in 2021.
-U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-
Match: United States Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: July 5, 2021
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field; East Hartford, Conn.
Kickoff: 5:08 p.m. ET
Weather: 75 degrees, cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 4 0 4
MEX 0 0 0
USA – Lindsey Horan (Carli Lloyd) 6th minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (Crystal Dunn) 11
MEX – Own Goal (Reyna Reyes) 37
USA – Tobin Heath (Samantha Mewis) 39
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 17-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Capt.) 2-Crystal Dunn (14-Emily Sonnet, 68); 3-Samantha Mewis (19-Catarina Macario, 68), 9-Lindsey Horan (12-Tierna Davidson, 80), 16-Rose Lavelle (6-Kristie Mewis, 46); 7-Tobin Heath (15-Megan Rapinoe, 46); 10-Carli Lloyd (13-Alex Morgan, 46); 11-Christen Press
Substitutes not used: 18-Adrianna Franch
Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski
MEX: 12-Itzel González; 13-Reyna Reyes (2-Bianca Sierra, 66), 14-Christina Ferral (3-Karina Rodríguez, 57), 4-Jocelyn Orejel, 5-Jimena López; 20-Alison González (7-Daniela Espinosa, 57), 16-Nancy Antonio (21-Diana García, 80), 6-Rebeca Bernal (18-Dania Pérez, 80), 11-María Sánchez; 10-Stephany Mayor (Capt.), 9-Kiana Palacios (19-Katty Martínez, 66)
Substitutes not used: 1-Emily Alvarado, 8-Belén Cruz, 15-Nicole Soto, 17-Lizbeth Ovalle
Head coach: Mónica Vergara
Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 17 / 5
Shots on Goal: 11 / 2
Saves: 2 / 8
Corner Kicks: 5 / 2
Fouls: 5 / 11
Offside: 5 / 1
MEX – Reyna Reyes (Caution) 60th minute
Referee: Danielle Chesky (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Deleana Quan (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Felisha Mariscal (USA)\
4th Official: Katja Koroleva (USA)
U.S. Soccer Insiders Woman of the Match: Lindsey Horan