USWNT extends unbeaten streak to 39 games with win over No. 3 ranked France
LE HAVRE, FRANCE – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated France 2-0 to cap off its two-game April trip to Europe with a strong start-to-finish victory.
In a showdown between two of the top three teams in the FIFA World Rankings, the No. 1-ranked USA got on the board early vs. No. 3 France as Megan Rapinoe converted her second penalty in as many games during just the fifth minute of play. Alex Morgan doubled the advantage 14 minutes later and a stout defensive showing secured the victory against Les Bleues.
Both teams entered the evening riding significant undefeated streaks, the USA without a loss in its last 38 games and France in its last 16. The USWNT’s last defeat had come to France in Le Havre in January of 2019, but this time the Americans controlled the match all over the field and outshot France 16-3 on the night.
After the USWNT came out of the gate with early pressure, Morgan was brought down in the box when Aïssatou Tounkara stomped on her foot and the referee pointed to the spot. From there, Rapinoe coolly finished the penalty for her team-leading seventh goal of the year. After also scoring a penalty for the USA’s lone goal vs. Sweden on April 10, Rapinoe has scored five goals over four consecutive games for the U.S.
Morgan netted a goal of her own in the 19th off of a nice feed from Christen Press. The pair combined well throughout the evening, but their efforts were rewarded with Morgan’s tally from a tight angle in the right side of the six-yard box. The goal marked her seventh vs. France all-time, the most by any American vs. Les Bleues. Press has now been directly involved in 30 goals in her last 32 USWNT games (13 goals, 17 assists).
As the half wore on, France began to show more aggression and come out of its defensive shape a bit, creating a number of dangerous opportunities off of corner kicks and forcing a bit of action for goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. France goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin was also called upon to make a few key saves late in the first half, leaping to redirect a hard-hit Crystal Dunn shot in the 35th minute and swallowing up a cross from Kelley O’Hara in the 37th.
France continued to grow into the game and threaten in the second half, but the USA still held the upper hand and the better of offensive opportunities down the stretch. The USWNT unveiled a formational wrinkle with its first sub of the second half as midfielder Lindsey Horan entered for Rapinoe. With four formidable midfielders on the field, Rose Lavelle shifted up to the right wing, where she continued to be productive and nearly teed up a third U.S. goal in the 84th minute.
Naeher and the U.S. back line recorded the clean sheet on the night, Naeher’s first vs. France in five tries and 10th in her last 11 matches. France recorded just one shot on goal over the course during the game.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Penalty Kick), 5th minute: On an early incursion deep into French territory, defender Aïssatou Tounkara charged into Alex Morgan from behind as she tried to control a falling ball and stomped — quote emphatically — on her foot. The referee immediately whistled for a penalty and Rapinoe stepped up to the spot, slotting it to the right side past goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, who dove the wrong way. Rapinoe is seven for seven on penalties for the USWNT since 2016. USA 1, FRA 0
USA – Alex Morgan (Christen Press), 19th minute: After combining for some early danger on the front line, Morgan and Press teamed up for a nice goal to double the American advantage. Samantha Mewis played Press about 25 yards from goal, where the forward one-touched a pass to Morgan cutting between two French defenders. Driving towards the right post, she received the ball as she slipped behind the defense and ripped a shot from eight yards out into the opposite side of the net at a difficult angle for her 109th international goal. USA 2, FRA 0
- The USWNT improves to 19-3-3 all-time vs. France. While the overall series has tightened up as of late, the U.S. is now 3-2-1 against Les Bleues in its last six games.
- U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski is 17-0-1 in his first 18 games (two at the end of 2019, nine in 2020 and seven so far in 2021), setting a record for best start for a head coach in USWNT history.
- Of Andonovski’s first 18 games, 15 have been at home and 10 have been against teams ranked in the top 13 in the world.
- The lineup against France featured four changes from the Starting XI that took on Sweden Saturday in Stockholm: Abby Dahlkemper replaced Tierna Davidson at center back, Samantha Mewis replaced Lindsey Horan in the midfield, and Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe started at forward in place of Carli Lloyd and Lynn Williams.
- Ten of the 11 starters for today’s game against France started against Les Bleues in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Quarterfinal in Paris, with the only change up top with Christen Press in place of Tobin Heath, who was not included in this training camp roster due to injury.
- Megan Rapinoe has scored seven goals in seven games thus far in 2021 and five goals in her last four.
- Morgan’s goal was her second of 2021 and her second goal since becoming a mother last year.
- With Press’ assist this evening, she has a combined 99 goals and assists (60 goals, 39 assists). With one more, she’ll become the 14th player in U.S. history with 100 combined goals and assists.
- After becoming the third player in USWNT history to earn 300 caps with her appearance vs. Sweden, Carli Lloyd picked up her 301st cap as a second-half substitute vs. France.
- Twenty-year-old forward Sophia Smith came on in the 75th minute to earn her fourth cap. She is the first player to play for the USWNT who was born in the aughts.
– U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. France
Date: April 13, 2021
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Stade Océane; Le Havre, France
Attendance: No Fans Allowed
Kickoff: 3:10 p.m. ET / 9:10 p.m. Local
Weather: 42 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 0 2
FRA 0 0 0
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Penalty Kick) 5th minute
USA – Alex Morgan (Christen Press) 19
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Capt.), 19-Crystal Dunn; 8-Julie Ertz, 16-Rose Lavelle, 3-Samantha Mewis; 23-Christen Press (2-Sophia Smith, 75), 13-Alex Morgan (10-Carli Lloyd, 75), 15-Megan Rapinoe (9-Lindsey Horan, 63)
Substitutes Not Used: 18-Jane Campbell, 12-Tierna Davidson, 14-Emily Sonnett, 22-Kristie Mewis
Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski
FRA: 21-Pauline Peyraud-Magnin; 4-Marion Torrent (25-Grace Kazadi, 62), 5-Aïssatou Tounkara, 22-Elisa De Almeida, 2-Eve Perisset; 18-Viviane Asseyi (17-Sandy Baltimore, 46), 8-Grace Geyoro (14-Ella Palis, 46), 6-Inès Jaurena; 15-Kenza Dali (10-Léa Khelifi, 62), 12-Marie-Antoinette Katoto (13-Valérie Gauvin, 46), 9- Eugénie Le Sommer (Capt.)
Substitutes Not Used: 1-Solène Durand, 16-Constance Picaud, 3-Julie Thibaud, 7-Oriane Jean-Francois, 11-Kadidiatou Diani, 19-Estelle Cascarino, 20-Louise Fleury, 23-Perle Morroni, 24-Océane Deslandes
Head Coach: Corinne Diacre
Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 16 / 3
Shots on Goal: 7 / 1
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 4 / 5
Fouls: 8 / 6
Offside: 5 / 2
FRA – Marion Torrent (Caution) 36th minute
FRA – Grace Kazadi (Caution) 73
USA – Carli Lloyd (Caution) 83
Referee: Riem Hussein (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Katrin Rafalski (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Christina Biehl (GER)
4th Official: Alexandra Collin (FRA)
U.S. Soccer Insiders Woman of the Match: Becky Sauerbrunn