KANSAS CITY, Kansas (September 3, 2022) – For the first time since qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the USA women’s national team made a comeback 4-0 against Nigeria in front of a boisterous crowd of 14,502 at Children’s Mercy Park.
In the first of two friendlies between the United States and the Super Falcons, US head coach Vlatko Andonovski fielded the same starting XI that defeated Canada 1-0 in the Concacaf W championship title game in mid-July.
The USA, who beat Nigeria 14-8, put pressure on their opponents from the start and when the first change of water came midway through the first half, the Americans led 2-0 as striker Sophia Smith scored on breakaway and midfielder Lindsey Horan converting a feed from Smith down the right side of the box. Smith struck a second in first-half added time to give the USA a 3-0 lead at half-time.
Shortly after the teams started the second half, forward Mallory Pugh sped into the Super Falcons’ box on the left, where she was fouled by Nicole Payne. Striker Alex Morgan sent the resulting penalty with aplomb in the 52nd minutend Minute to get the final victory. It was Morgan’s fourth career goal from the penalty spot for the United States.
Andonovski then turned to his bench to keep players fresh in the KC heat. In the 64thth Minute forward Midge Purce came on for Smith, forward Megan Rapinoe replaced Pugh and midfielder Ashley Sanchez replaced Horan. A second group of submarines entered the 70sth Minute midfielder Ashley Hatch came on in place of Morgan, midfielder Kristie Mewis came on for Rose Lavelle and defender Hailie Mace, taking over for Emily Fox from local NWSL team Kansas City Current. It was Mace’s fourth career cap and first since 2018.
The strong performance from the U.S. earned the team their ninth straight clean sheet, tying the third-longest shutout streak in program history and the teams’ rematch on Tuesday, September 6 (6 p.m. ET; ESPN2). A full audience is expected for this game, the USWNT’s first-ever at Washington, DC’s football-specific stadium.
Goal Shot Rundown:
USA – Sophia Smith, 14th minute – A Nigerian goal kick was headed back into Super Falcons territory by Sofia Huerta and a wild back-heel from Christy Ucheibe sent the ball back to her goal and into Smith’s path. The forward sped past the defense and found her left foot in the bottom right corner for her eighth goal in her last nine internationals. USA 1, NGA 0
USA – Lindsey Horan (Sophia Smith), 25th minute – Smith was involved in USA’s next goal again, this time providing an assist for fellow Colorado player Lindsey Horan to give her 26th Career goal. After a corner kick from the left, WNT pressed high to regain the ball from just outside Nigeria’s box and Smith was able to poke a pass into Horan’s crotch on the right side of the box. The Olympique Lyon midfielder sliced inside past a defender before putting a left footed shot into the bottom left corner of the net. USA 2, NGA 0
USA – Sophia Smith (Emily Fox), 45+1St minute – Fox earned their first career assist with an excellent game to set Smith up for their second record of the game. After initiating the passing sequence, Fox ran long up the left touchline before recapturing the ball and sending a beautiful low cross across the Nigeria box to Smith’s feet, deflecting the ball home for just their fourth multigoal game had to red, white and blue. USA 3, NGA 0
USA – Alex Morgan (penalty), 52nd minute – After Mallory Pugh pulled a penalty Morgan stepped up and buried her shot with experienced composure in the bottom left corner for the 119th goal of their career. USA 4, NGA 0
- USA improve to 7-0-0 all-time against Nigeria and 9-0-0 overall against CAF opponents.
- Head coach Vlatko Andonovski is 40-2-6 in 48 games (two in late 2019, nine in 2020, 24 in 2021 and 13 so far in 2022).
- The USA are on a 12-game winning streak in which they have beaten their opponents 50-1. It is the team’s longest winning streak since 16 consecutive wins from November 2019 to February 2021.
- The team is currently in the middle of its second longest home unbeaten streak (70 games) which has spanned more than five years. With a 63-0-7 record, the streak is only behind the WNT’s 104-game unbeaten streak, which lasted from December 2004 to December 2015.
- With the goal conceded, the United States repeated their third-longest streak of shutouts of all time. Most recently, it scored nine consecutive shutouts from August to November 2018. The US kept 14 clean sheets from July 1990 to May 1991 and had a 10-game shutout streak from December 2004 to October 2005.
- With Sophia Smith scoring her 10th career goal in just her 22nd career game, she is tied with Michelle Akers for the sixth-fastest to double-digit goals in USWNT history.
- Fastest to 10 goals in WNT history: Christie Welsh and Christen Press (14 caps), Abby Wambach (16), Carin Jennings-Gabarra (20), Sydney Leroux (21), Sophia Smith and Michelle Akers (22)
- With her goal, Alex Morgan has now scored against 31 different opponents. It was also her first goal against African opponents, giving her goals against all six FIFA confederations. Morgan is the 14th USWNT player to score against a team from each confederation.
- It was Morgan’s 119th career goal and 12th as a mother, which put her just two goals away from becoming the top-scoring mother in USA team history. Joy Fawcett scored 13 goals as a mother.
- With her first goal of 2022, Lindsey Horan becomes the 16th player to score for the USWNT in 2022 – Sophia Smith (8), Mallory Pugh (6), Catarina Macario (5), Rose Lavelle (3) , Kristie Mewis (3), Alex Morgan (3), Ashley Sanchez (3), Ashley Hatch (2), Trinity Rodman (2), Midge Purce (2), Kelley O’Hara (1), Lindsey Horan (1) , Jaelin Howell (1), Andi Sullivan (1), Taylor Kornieck (1) and Emily Sonnett (1).
– US WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT –
Fit: United States Women’s National Team vs. Nigeria
Date: September 3, 2022
Contest: International friendly game
Venue: Mercy Park for children; Kansas City, Kan.
Kicking off: 1:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. local)
Weather: 82 degrees; cloudy
Points overview: 1 2 F
United States 3 1 4
NGA 0 0 0
United States—Sophia Smith 14th minute
USA – Lindsey Horan (Sophia Smith) 25
USA – Sophia Smith (Emily Fox) 45+1
USA – Alex Morgan (penalty) 52
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: 1-Alyssa Naher; 8-Sofia Huerta, 3-Alana Cook, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Capt.), 19-Emily Fox (5-Hailie Mace, 70); 17 – Andi Sullivan, 10 – Lindsey Horan (2 – Ashley Sanchez, 64), 16 – Rose Lavelle (22 – Kristie Mewis, 70); 9-Mallory Pugh (15-Megan Rapinoe, 64), 13-Alex Morgan (7-Ashley Hatch, 70), 11-Sophia Smith (23-Midge Purce, 65)
Substitutes not used: 18- Casey Murphy, 21- Aubrey Kingsbury, 6- Savannah DeMelo, 12- Naomi Girma, 14- Sam Coffey, 20- Taylor Kornieck
Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski
NGA: 16-Chiamaka Nnadozie; 12-Michelle Alozie, 3-Osinachi Ohale (11-Akudo Ogbonna, 76), 4-Glory Ogbonna (5-Blessing Demehin, 56), 7-Toni Payne; 6-Uchenna Kanu (8-Rofiat Adenike Imuran, 46), 19-Deborah Abiodun (17-Nicole Payne, 46), 13-Christy Ucheibe, 2-Gift Monday (10-Amanda Mbadi, 46); 15-Rasheedat Ajibade (Captain), 9-Ifeoma Onumonu (14-Vivian Ikechukwu, 65)
Substitutes not used: 1-Christy Ohiaeriaku, 18-Onyi Echegini, 20-Esther Onyenezid
head coach: Randy Waldrum
Statistics Summary: USA/NGA
Shots on target: 9/4
Summary of Misconduct:
NGA – Deborah Abiodun (Caution) 28thth minute
NGA – Osinachi Ohale (caution) 40
Referee: Melissa Borjas (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Shirley Perello (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Lourdes Noriega (HON)
4th Official: Tori Penso (USA)
Budweiser Woman of the Game: Sophia Smith