Tuesday, January 31

Rose Lavelle leads USWNT’s fluid assault in win regardless of seeing Nigeria snap spectacular shutout streak


Rose Lavelle scored the go-ahead aim and the U.S. women’s national team received its thirteenth straight match with a 2-1 victory over Nigeria on Tuesday evening at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. The USWNT additionally benefitted from an personal aim to increase the workforce’s unbeaten streak on American soil to 71 video games.

The groups first met Saturday in Kansas City, Kansas, and the United States got here away with a 4-0 victory. Nigeria was lacking six starters due to accidents and visa points. The personal aim gave the United States an early lead within the twenty fourth minute, however Nigeria equalized on Uchenna Kanu’s rating after the break.

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It was the primary aim that the United States has given up this yr. The aim additionally snapped a nine-game shutout streak for the Americans.

The United States pulled again in entrance with Lavelle’s aim off a cross from Megan Rapinoe within the 66th minute. It was Lavelle’s fourth aim of the yr.

Following the match, the U.S. girls and their male counterparts formally signed the collective bargaining agreements struck in May with U.S. Soccer that offers gamers on each side equal pay.

JUMP TO: Player ratings | Best/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | Post-match quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Rapid Reaction

1. Lavelle leads a extra fluid assault

Where Rose Lavelle goes, success follows. On Tuesday, that meant huge areas of the sphere — not precisely her most ultimate place. It was all by design, nevertheless. Lavelle began the match within the No. 10 function, one which she has owned for a while within the United States’ beginning lineup.

But on Tuesday — very like in Saturday’s 4-0 win — Lavelle drifted to the USWNT’s proper facet to occupy the area cleared by winger Sophia Smith. The actions are intentional, and so they make the USWNT extraordinarily tough to defend. The United States’ opening aim within the twenty fourth minute was formally an personal aim, however as soon as once more got here by means of affected person build-up play, of which Lavelle was a catalyst. In the moments earlier than that aim, Lavelle repeatedly discovered area to use down that proper facet as Smith overloaded the central areas and brought about Nigeria’s comparatively inexperienced again line to scramble.

Lavelle was rewarded within the 66th minute when she scored a spectacular game-winner, a diving header that compelled her to contort her physique for a ball served behind her. It wasn’t Lavelle’s first diving header of the yr, nor was it the primary time she has been the focus of the USWNT’s assault. Lavelle in huge areas was as soon as seen as an issue, a waste of a central midfield expertise being pinned to the touchline. That was a significant rationalization for her unusual 2020-21 season at Manchester City. There, she was typically requested to play as a winger.

In this method for the USWNT, she is the No. 10 who is inspired to overload huge channels. She does so with nice success.



Right after Megan Rapinoe comes onto the pitch, she crosses one to Rose Lavelle for the header.

2. Impressive shutout streak snapped

The USWNT’s nine-game shutout streak got here to a spectacular finish when Uchenna Kanu, a second-half substitute for Nigeria, hammered a shot into the higher nook for an equalizer 4 minutes after halftime. It was the primary aim the USWNT allowed in 880 minutes, tied for the third-longest streak in workforce historical past. Kanu slipped in behind Sofia Huerta on the United States’ proper facet and Huerta misplayed the lofted by means of ball, permitting it to drop to Kanu for the spectacular shot that evaded a recovering Alana Cook.

It was a simply reward for a Nigeria workforce which got here out in a extra attack-minded setup than in Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the United States. It additionally served as a mentality take a look at for a comparatively inexperienced again line. Cook paired with Naomi Girma centrally as captain Becky Sauerbrunn shifted to the bench for this match, whereas Huerta and Emily Fox maintained their roles as fullbacks.

Fox did nicely defensively as Michelle Alozie tried to mix with Ifeoma Onumonu down Nigeria’s proper facet, and it was Fox who performed the by means of ball to Mallory Pugh for the USWNT’s opening aim within the twenty fourth minute. Huerta additionally continued to push excessive up the alternative flank and mix with the entrance line.

Kanu’s aim — and equally, the response to it — will ask additional questions in regards to the United States’ ultimate beginning again line. Cook has been the starter alongside Sauerbrunn, though Girma presents a wider passing vary, as evidenced by her involvement in that opening aim. Huerta persevering with to push excessive additionally means extra moments of publicity for Cook.

USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski talked about constructing relationships inside subgroups of the workforce. The Cook-Huerta mixture on that proper facet is clearly a type of.



Uchenna Kanu rips a aim, pulling Nigeria stage early within the second half.

3. Need a No. 6? Sam Coffey has entered the chat

Andonovski was requested final week what number of defensive midfielders he thinks he wants on a 23-player World Cup roster. His reply was cheeky: 2.5. Andonovski envisions having two pure Nos. 6 and one other participant who can play there amongst a number of midfield positions. Lindsey Horan is most definitely that utility knife in Andonovski’s thoughts, having trialed her because the No. 6 final yr after Julie Ertz went down injured.

Horan is a gifted two-way midfielder however taking part in her because the No. 6 was a part of an all-around disastrous workforce efficiency within the Olympic opener, a 3-0 loss to Sweden. Andi Sullivan is clearly the beginning No. 6 at this level and time, and Ertz’s future plans stay unknown. She just lately gave start to her first youngster and isn’t beneath contract with any skilled workforce. Coffey, then, can swoop in at a comparatively speedy tempo if there’s a backup No. 6 function up for grabs.

She began Tuesday in opposition to Nigeria for her first senior U.S. cap, simply over two months after incomes her first call-up forward of World Cup qualifying (after which becoming a member of the qualifying squad as an harm alternative participant). On Tuesday, Coffey regarded like a pure on each side of the ball. She had a pair moments that would have been higher, however even in these, she shortly recovered to make a vital deal with or get again on the ball and restart the assault. All issues thought of, she began to make her case.

Player rankings

United States: Casey Murphy, 6. Naomi Girma, 6. Alana Cook, 6. Sofia Huerta, 6. Emily Fox, 7. Sam Coffey, 7. Lindsey Horan, 7. Rose Lavelle, 8. Sophia Smith, 7. Mallory Pugh, 7. Alex Morgan, 6.
Subs: Megan Rapinoe, 7. Hailie Mace, 6. Ashley Hatch, 6.

Nigeria: Chiamaka Nnadozie, 6. Osinachi Ohale, 7. Glory Ogbonna, 6. Toni Payne, 6. Blessing Demehin, 5. Michelle Alozie, 6. Christy Ucheibe, 6. Rofiat Adenike Imuran, 5. Onyi Echegini, 5. Rasheedat Ajibade, 6. Ifeoma Onumonu, 7.

Subs: Uchenna Kanu, 7. Nicole Payne, 6. Vivian Ikechukwu, 6. Gift Monday, 6. Amanda Mbadi, 5.

Best and worst performers

BEST: Rose Lavelle, United States

Lavelle popped up in all places on the evening and was the participant of the match even earlier than scoring her nice game-winner.

WORST: Rofiat Adenike Imuran, Nigeria

Consistently struggled to cope with the Smith-Lavelle overload on that flank.

Highlights and notable moments

Following the match, the U.S. girls and their male counterparts formally signed the collective bargaining agreements struck in May with U.S. Soccer that offers gamers on each side equal pay.

There was a celebratory mode after the sport forward of the signing ceremony for the brand new collective bargaining settlement.

U.S. captain Becky Sauerbrunn referred to as the brand new CBA a “big win” for the gamers.

After the match: What the managers, gamers mentioned

“If it needed to occur, I’m glad it occurred on this recreation. It needed to occur, I’m glad it occurred now. And on the finish, that is why we play these workforce. That’s why we play a workforce that’s transitional, intense and aggressive.” — USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski on conceding a aim

“I believed that was world-class [Megan Rapinoe] however I nonetheless do not understand how Rose [Lavelle] managed to get her head on that ball. I believed it was completely unimaginable. Very comfortable for her. We’ve carried out a number of work on her runs, on our midfielders’ runs within the field, and the truth that we did have a midfielder end and get a game-winning aim could be very fulfilling and satisfying as a result of it is among the areas that we have targeted on in the previous few video games.” — Andonovski on the second aim.

“I need to thank all of you guys for the assist, all of the social media posts, the messages of assist, the chants of ‘Equal Pay’ at actually humorous instances, displaying up at our video games. You guys make the distinction and you’re actually, actually the perfect followers on the planet.” — Becky Sauerbrunn on the signed CBA

“I’ve to present a number of credit score to everybody concerned, the ladies’s nationwide workforce and their PA [players’ association], the boys’s nationwide workforce and their PA and everybody at U.S. Soccer. There have been so many individuals that helped, that labored collectively to make this occur.” — U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone

Key Stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Information)

– The USWNT conceded their first aim since April 9, placing an finish to a nine-game shutout streak, which was tied for third longest all-time in workforce historical past. During the 880-minute stretch, the U.S. had outscored their opponents 31-0 throughout that span.

– Nearly 22 years between objectives from Nigeria in opposition to the USWNT — the Super Falcons’ rating final scored in opposition to the U.S. was in a 3-1 loss on Sept. 20, 2000 within the Olympic Games.

– The USWNT now have a 13-game win streak, second-longest beneath supervisor Vlatko Andonovski (longest was 16 from Nov. 2019 to Feb. 2021).

Up subsequent

United States: Next up can be a big-time conflict Oct. 7 in opposition to Euro champions England at Wembley.

Nigeria: A go to to Japan for a pleasant Oct. 6.


2022-09-08 12:12:54

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