KANSAS CITY, Kansas (September 3, 2022) – Returning to action for the first time since qualifying for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2024 Paris Olympics, the United States Women’s National Team cruised to a 4-0 victory on Nigeria in front of a raucous crowd of 14,502 at Children’s Mercy Park.
In the first of two friendlies between the USA and the Super Falcons, USA head coach Vlatko Andonovski pitched the same XI that beat Canada 1-0 in the Premier League title game. Concacaf W Championship in mid-July.
The United States, who beat Nigeria 14-8, put their opponents under pressure from the opening whistle and when the first water break came midway through the first half, the Americans had a 2-0 lead thanks to forward Sophia Smith scoring on a breakaway and midfielder Lindsey Horan converting a Smith feed from the right side of the box. Smith would come around on a second strike in first-half stoppage time, giving the United States a 3-0 lead heading into the break.
Shortly after the teams started the second half, striker Mallory Pugh ran into the Super Falcons penalty area on the left side where she was fouled by Nicole Payne. Striker Alex Morgan sent the resulting penalty with aplomb in the 52n/a minute to provide what would be the final margin of victory. It was Morgan’s fourth career goal from the penalty spot for the United States.
Andonovski then turned to his bench to keep the players cool in the KC heat. In the 64e minute, forward Midge Purce replaced Smith, forward Megan Rapinoe replaced Pugh and midfielder Ashley Sanchez replaced Horan. A second series of registered submarines in the 1970se minute as midfielder Ashley Hatch came on in place of Morgan, midfielder Kristie Mewis replaced Rose Lavelle and defender Hailie Mace, she from local NWSL team Kansas City Current, replaced Emily Fox . It was Mace’s fourth career cap and first since 2018.
USA’s strong showing earned the team its ninth consecutive clean sheet, which ties the third-longest shutout streak in program history and sets up the teams’ rematch at Audi Field in Washington D.C. on Tuesday. Sept. 6 (6 p.m. ET; ESPN2). A capacity crowd is expected for this game, the USWNT’s first ever at the Washington, DC Football Stadium.
Summary of goals:
United States – Sophia Smith, 14th minute – A Nigerian goal kick was headed into Super Falcons territory by the Sofia Huerta and a wild tailgating attempt from Christy Ucheibe sent the ball home and into Smith’s path. The striker got past the defense and hit a left-footed shot into the bottom right corner for her eighth goal in her last nine caps. United States 1, NGA 0
United States – Lindsey Horan (Sophia Smith), 25th minute – Smith was again involved in the next goal for the United States, this time playing the role of supplier for fellow Coloradian Lindsey Horan for his sack 26e career goal. After a corner kick from the left side, high pressure from the WNT collected the ball just outside the Nigerian box and Smith was able to stab a pass on Horan’s heels into the right side of the box. The Olympique Lyon midfielder cut inside past a defender before landing a left-footed shot into the bottom left corner of the net. United States 2, NGA 0
United States – Sophia Smith (Emily Fox), 45+1st minute – Fox got his first career assist with a great game to set up Smith for his second count of the game. After initiating the passing sequence, Fox made a long run down the left touchline before collecting the ball and sending a fine low cross through the Nigerian box at the feet of Smith, who only had to redirect the ball home for his fourth multi-goal game in red, white and blue. United States 3, NGA 0
USA – Alex Morgan (penalty kick), 52n/a minute – After Mallory Pugh fired a penalty, Morgan stepped in and, with veteran poise, buried his shot in the bottom left corner for the 119e goal of his career. United States 4, NGA 0
- USA improve to 7-0-0 all-time against Nigeria and 9-0-0 overall against opponents CAF.
- Head coach Vlatko Andonovski is 40-2-6 in 48 games (two at the end of 2019, nine in 2020, 24 in 2021 and 13 so far in 2022).
- USA are on a 12-game winning streak in which they outscored opponents 50-1. It’s the team’s longest winning streak since their 16-game winning streak from November 2019 to February 2021.
- The team is currently in the midst of its second longest home unbeaten streak (70 games) which lasted over five years. With a 63-0-7 record, the streak only follows the WNT’s 104-game home unbeaten streak that lasted from December 2004 to December 2015.
- With the clean sheet, the United States tied their third-longest shutout streak of all time. He last had nine consecutive shutouts from August to November 2018. The United States had 14 consecutive shutouts from July 1990 to May 1991 and had a 10-game shutout streak from December 2004 to October 2005.
- While Sophia Smith scored her 10th career goal in just her 22nd career selection, she is tied with Michelle Akers for the 6th fastest double-digit goal 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 his goal, Alex Morgan has now scored against 31 different opponents. It was also his first goal against an African opponent, giving him goals against all six FIFA confederations. Morgan is the 14th USWNT player to score against a team from each confederation.
- It was Morgan’s 119e career goal and 12e as a mother, setting her on two goals to become the highest-scoring United States mother in team history. Joy Fawcett scored 13 goals as a mother.
- With her first goal of 2022, Lindsey Horan becomes the sixteenth different player to score for the USWNT so far 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 –
Match: United States Women’s National Team vs. Nigeria
Date: September 3, 2022
Competition: international friendly
Venue: Mercy Park for Children; Kansas City, Kan.
To start up: 1:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. local time)
Time: 82 degrees; cloudy
Rating Summary: 1 2 F
United States 3 1 4
NGA 0 0 0
United States – Sophia Smith 14e minute
USA – Lindsey Horan (Sophia Smith) 25
United States – Sophia Smith (Emily Fox) 45+1
USA – Alex Morgan (Penalty) 52
UNITED STATES: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 8-Sofia Huerta, 3-Alana Cook, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (captain), 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
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 Onyenezide
The Head Coach: Randy Waldrum
Stat Summary: United States / NGA
Shots: 14 / 8
Shots on goal: 9 / 4
Backup: 4 / 5
Corner kicks: 3 / 3
Fouls: 6 / 11
Offside: 0 / 1
Summary of misconduct:
NGA – Deborah Abiodun (caution) 28e 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 Match: Sophie Smith