USWNT falls to England 2-1 in front of electric Wembley Stadium crowd
LONDON – The U.S. Women’s National Team fell to England 2-1 at the iconic Wembley Stadium in front of an electric crowd of 76,893, making it the highest attended friendly match in USWNT history.
The result ended the USWNT’s 13-game winning streak that dated back to the team’s second match of this year against New Zealand.
In response to the findings of the Sally Yates investigation and in a show of unity and common cause, players from the USWNT and England took the field wearing teal armbands to stand in solidarity with sexual violence survivors. Before the match, both teams stood together at midfield and unfurled a banner reading “Protect the Players.”
The clash between the reigning World Cup champions and recently crowned European champions lived up to the anticipation from the jump as forward Sophia Smith fired off the first warning shot of the match in the first minute, dribbling into the box from the left side and putting a strike on frame that forced a save from England goalkeeper Mary Earps. England responded as forward Beth Mead tested goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher for the first time just four minutes later.
The Lionesses struck first in the 10th minute after an excellent build out from the back took the ball up the right flank and Mead sent a cross into the box. U.S. defender Alana Cook slid to clear but couldn’t turn the ball away from danger. Forward Lauren Hemp latched onto the loose ball and finished easily from six yards out. The USA responded well, continuing to put pressure on the hosts with quality attacking play despite trailing for the first time in 2022.
The U.S. then created the equalizer in the 28th minute. England attempted to build out of the back, as they did the entire match, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. This time midfielder Lindsey Horan pounced to force a turnover which put the ball at Smith’s feet at the top of the box. She turned on frame and buried a powerful, dipping shot into the left corner to level the score. It was Smith’s team-leading 10th goal of the year and gave the 22-year-old her 11th career goal in her 24th international appearance.
England reclaimed the lead just five minutes later after a VAR review on a high kick at the top of the penalty box ruled that defender Hailie Mace had kicked Lucy Bronze in the face. Mace had been forced into action in the 22nd minute due to an injury to outside back Emily Fox. The ensuring penalty kick was buried by Georgia Stanway low and into the right corner to make it 2-1 as Naeher dove the other way. The Americans equalized yet again four minutes later, this time courtesy of forward Trinity Rodman who finished a pass from Smith after a run down the right flank, but the goal was waved away due to an offside call on Smith – by the slimmest of margins — following a VAR review.
The second half was a much tighter contest as both teams looked to break each other down. England’s best chance came from defender Lucy Bronze in the 55th following a quality run of play, but her driven shot after a nice build up went wide right. The USA’s most dangerous chance came five minutes later after Horan found Megan Rapinoe with a clever pass to split two defenders inside the box toward the left side, where she turned and fired a powerful strike that deflected off a defender and out for a goal kick.
After coming into the match in the 84th minute at 17 years and 334 days old, forward Alyssa Thompson became the 70th teenager all-time to earn a cap for the USWNT and the youngest player to debut for the USA since January of 2016 when Mallory Pugh made her debut at 17 years and 269 days of age. Thompson played in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup for the USA in August in Costa Rica, a tournament in which she had a goal and an assist.
The USA will now travel to face Spain at El Sadar Stadium in Pamplona on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 2:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2). Spain drew with Sweden, 1-1, today in its first match of the FIFA window.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
ENG – Lauren Hemp, 10th minute – England played out of the back quickly and aggressively up the right flank, where Mead got in behind to play a cross into the box. Defender Alana Cook attempted to make the clearance, but she didn’t get a big piece of the ball and it snuck past her to find Hemp’s feet. She finished from six yards out. USA 0, ENG 1
USA – Sophia Smith, 28th minute – As England attempted to play out of the back, Lindsey Horan forced a turnover with pressing defense in the hosts’ defensive third. The ball rolled to Smith’s feet at the top of the box and she turned to fire a powerful, dipping right-footed shot that smashed into the lower left corner of the goal. USA 1, ENG 1
ENG – Georgia Stanway (Penalty Kick), 28th minute – England was awarded a penalty kick following a VAR review on a high kick by USA defender Hailie Mace who was attempting to clear. The referee awarded a penalty kick, which Stanway finished low and to the right. USA 1, ENG 2
- After coming into the match for Emily Fox in the 22nd minute, defender Hailie Mace recorded her sixth career cap and third in the last five weeks.
- Just 140 days after giving birth to her son Marcel, defender Crystal Dunn returned to the field for the USWNT after coming into the match in the 63rd minute. Her return marked her 124th cap and her first since Sept. 16, 2021.
- Thompson becomes the 21st player to earn a cap for the USA before turning 18 and just the third to do so in the last 20 years, joining Casey Nogueira and Mallory Pugh.
- Thompson is the 251st player to earn a cap for the USWNT and the seventh player to earn a first cap this year. Overall, Thompson is the 17th different player to earn their first cap under head coach Vlatko Andonovski.
- Tonight’s crowd of 76,893 marked the fourth-largest crowd for any USWNT match in history, trailing only the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final (90,185), the 2012 Olympic final (80,203), and the 1999 Women’s World Cup matchup vs. Denmark (78,972).
– U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. England
Date: Oct. 7, 2022
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Wembley Stadium; London, England
Kickoff: 3 p.m. ET (8 p.m. local)
Weather: 58 degrees; rainy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
ENG 2 0 2
ENG – Lauren Hemp 10th minute
USA – Sophia Smith 28
ENG – Georgia Stanway (Penalty Kick) 33
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 8-Sofia Huerta (19-Crystal Dunn, 63), 3-Alana Cook, 12-Naomi Girma (4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 83), 23-Emily Fox (5-Hailie Mace, 22); 17-Andi Sullivan (14-Sam Coffey, 63), 16-Rose Lavelle, 10-Lindsey Horan (Capt.); 6-Trinity Rodman (2-Ashley Sanchez, 83), 11-Sophia Smith, 15-Megan Rapinoe (13-Alyssa Thompson, 84)
Substitutes not used: 18-Casey Murphy, 21-Aubrey Kingsbury, 7-Ashley Hatch, 20-Jaelin Howell, 22-Kristie Mewis, 25-Savannah DeMelo
Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski
ENG: 1-Mary Earps; 2-Lucy Bronze, 5-Millie Bright (Capt.), 6-Alex Greenwood, 3-Rachel Daly; 7-Beth Mead, 8-Georgia Stanway, 4-Keira Walsh, 11-Chloe Kelly (22-Lauren James, 91), 10-Fran Kirby (18-Ella Toone, 68), 9-Lauren Hemp
Substitutes not used: 13-Ellie Roebuck, 21-Sandy MacIver, 12-Esme Morgan, 14-Katie Zelem, 15-Lotte Wubben-Moy, 16-Jess Carter, 17-Nikir Parris, 19-Jessica Park, 20-Demi Stokes, 23-Ebony Salmon
Head coach: Sarina Wiegman
Stats Summary: USA / ENG
Shots: 10 / 11
Shots on Goal: 2 / 4
Saves: 2 / 1
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 5 / 10
Offside: 4 / 2
USA – Hailie Mace (Caution) 32nd minute
ENG – Millie Bright (Caution) 45
USA – Trinity Rodman (Caution) 48
Referee: Riem Hussein (GER)
AR 1: Katrin Rafalski (GER)
AR 2: Sina Diekmann (GER)
4th: Angelika Söder (GER)
VA: Johann Pfeifer (GER)
AVA: Karoline Wacker (GER)
Woman of the Match: Sophia Smith