USWNT extends unbeaten streak to 71 matches with 2-1 win over Nigeria in D.C.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Nigeria 2-1 to extend the team’s home unbeaten streak to 71 matches. A Nigeria own goal in the first half and an acrobatic header from midfielder Rose Lavelle, which was assisted with class by forward Megan Rapinoe just seconds after she came off the bench, led the Americans to its thirteenth consecutive victory and second win over the Super Falcons in four days.
The U.S. threatened in the attack immediately as debutant midfielder Samantha Coffey intercepted a pass in the second minute and found forward Alex Morgan inside the box. Morgan turned toward goal and fired a shot on target, forcing a save from goalkeeper Chiamaka Nniadoze, who would go on to have a strong performance posting six saves on the night.
The USA dominated in possession and looked consistently dangerous as it strung together attacking plays through cohesive passing which demanded plenty of defending from the Nigerian back line which showed improvement from the previous outing on Sept. 3 in Kansas City. Following a handful of close chances, the USA opened the scoring after Nigeria defender Blessing Demehin attempted to clear a low cross from the left flank that was struck on the ground by forward Mallory Pugh, but she redirected ball into her own net.
— U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (@USWNT) September 7, 2022
Four minutes after coming into the match as a halftime substitute forward Uchenna Kanu equalized for the Super Falcons when she received a long ball that beat the U.S. back line. She dribbled into the left side of penalty area and finished with a quality shot into the upper right corner that was unsavable for U.S. goalkeeper Casey Murphy. The goal marked only the second that the USA has conceded in 2022 and ended the team’s nine-game shutout streak which lasted an impressive 880 minutes.
The 1-1 score line didn’t last long as Lavelle put the USA ahead in the 66th minute with a brilliant diving header following a precise cross from Rapinoe, who had come into the match as a substitute just over a minute earlier. It took Rapinoe exactly 73 seconds of action to create the assist, which was her second of the year and the 73rd of her international career, moving her into a tie with Abby Wambach for third on the USA’s all-time assist chart.
The USA did well to salt away the rest of the match with some quality possession while continuing to create scoring chances and remained unbeaten on the year at 13-0-1.
Following the win, the celebrations continued on the field with the official signing by the U.S. Soccer Federation, the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association and the U.S National Soccer Team Players Association of the historic, first-of-their-kind Collective Bargaining Agreements which achieved true equal pay between the USWNT and the USMNT, setting the global standard moving forward in international soccer. A large portion of the crowd of 18,869 stayed to watch the signing ceremony.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
USA – Blessing Demehin (Own Goal), 24th minute – Mallory Pugh received the ball on the left wing off a pass from defender Emily Fox and sent in a driven, low cross into the heart of the box aiming to meet Horan’s run. Demehin stretched to clear the pass to safety but accidentally knocked the ball into her own net to open the scoring. USA 1, NGA 0
NGA – Uchenna Kanu (Glory Ogbonna), 50th minute – Ogbonna played a long ball across the field to meet Kanu on the run. The halftime substitute settled the ball and dribbled into the left side of box before firing a right-footed into the upper right corner to equalize. USA 1, NGA 1
USA – Rose Lavelle (Megan Rapinoe), 66th minute – Following a quick attacking play up the middle of the field, Rapinoe received the ball on a run into the left side of the box, took a fantastic preparation touch and then chipped in a cross to Lavelle. She finished with a diving header – one in which she had to dive away from the goal to meet the ball – redirecting the ball from six yards out off the right post and over the goal line to regain a lead the USA would not relinquish. USA 2, NGA 1
- Midfielder Samantha Coffey earned her first USWNT cap and first start, playing all 90 minutes. The 23-year-old, who earned her first call-up to the Senior National Team in June, became the 250th woman to earn a cap for the USWNT and the sixth player to earn a first cap for the USA this year. She is the 16th player overall to earn a cap under head coach Vlatko Andonovski.
- Nigeria’s own goal in the first half marked the sixth own goal of the year in favor of the USA, extending the program record for most own goals in a calendar year.
- The USA’s nine-game shutout was tied for the third-longest in USWNT history and spanned 880 minutes. Kanu’s goal in the 50th minute was the first allowed by the USA since Uzbekistan’s Aziza Norboeva scored off a corner kick in the 70th minute of the April 9 meeting in Colombus, Ohio. The USA won that game 9-1.
- Midfielder Rose Lavelle’s goal marked her fourth of the year and 22nd of her career. Lavelle has now been directly involved in 10 goals in the USA’s last 11 matches, tallying four goals and adding six assists.
- The USA’s 71-game home unbeaten streak, which includes 64 wins and seven draws and has now spanned more than five years. During this home unbeaten streak, the USA has outscored its opponents 266-29, including a 133-3 margin during its last 32 matches at home, all of which have been wins save for the 0-0 draws with Czech Republic on Feb. 17 and with Korea Republic on Oct. 21, 2021. This is the second-longest home unbeaten streak in USWNT history, the longest lasting 104 games from December of 2004 to December of 2015.
- Andonovski has 41-2-6 overall record in 49 games.
-U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-
Match: United States Women’s National Team vs. Nigeria
Date: Sept. 6, 2022
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Audi Field; Washington, D.C.
Kickoff: 6:08 p.m. ET
Weather: 82 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
NGA 0 1 1
USA – Own Goal (Blessing Demehin) 24th minute
NGA – Uchenna Kanu (Glory Ogbonna) 50
USA – Rose Lavelle (Megan Rapinoe) 66
USA: 18-Casey Murphy; 19-Emily Fox (5-Hailie Mace, 80), 12-Naomi Girma, 3-Alana Cook, 8-Sofia Huerta; 14-Sam Coffey, 16-Rose Lavelle, 10-Lindsey Horan (Capt.); 9-Mallory Pugh, 13-Alex Morgan (7-Ashley Hatch, 80), 11-Sophia Smith (15-Megan Rapinoe, 65)
Subs not used: 1-Alyssa Naeher, 21-Aubrey Kingsbury, 2-Ashley Sanchez, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Savannah DeMelo, 17-Andi Sullivan, 20-Taylor Kornieck, 22-Kristie Mewis, 23-Midge Purce
Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski
NGA: 16-Chiamaka Nnadozie, 3-Osinachi Ohale, 4-Glory Ogbonna (17-Nicole Payne, 62) 5-Blessing Demehin, 7-Toni Payne, 8-Rofiat Adenike Imuran, 9-Ifeoma Onumonu (2-Gift Monday, 79), 12-Michelle Alozie (14-Vivian Ikechukwu, 83), 13-Christy Ucheibe (10-Amanda Mbadi, 83), 15-Rasheedat Ajibade (Capt.), 18-Onyi Echegini (6-Uchenna Kanu, 46)
Subs not used: 1-Christy Ohiaeriaku, 11-Akudo Ogbonna, 19-Deborah Abiodun, 20-Esther Onyenezide
Head coach: Randy Waldrum
Stats Summary: USA / NGA
Shots: 16 / 5
Shots on Goal: 7 / 2
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 3 / 5
Fouls: 3 / 13
Offside: 3 / 0
NGA – Rasheedat Ajibade (Caution) 85th minute
Referee: Odette Hamilton (JAM)
AR1: Jassett Kerr-Wilson (JAM)
AR2: Stephanie-Dale Yee Sing (JAM)
4th Official: Natalie Simon (USA)
Woman of the Match: Rose Lavelle