July 22, 2016
Carli Lloyd leads USWNT to victory in final Olympic sendoff match
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Captain Carli Lloyd scored her first goal since returning from a knee sprain as the U.S. Women’s National Team took a 4-0 victory over Costa Rica in an Olympic Games sendoff match at Children’s Mercy Park Friday night.
Crystal Dunn, Mallory Pugh and Lloyd scored in the first half and Christen Press added a late goal as the U.S. upped its record to 14-0-1 this year before a 12,635 crowd, the lowest to view the team on its seven-game sendoff tour. The U.S. will open Olympic competition against New Zealand in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Aug. 3.
Dunn finished a Meghan Klingenberg cross in the 15th minute, then Pugh and Lloyd increased the advantage to 3-0 at halftime. Press (79th) converted off an Allie Long feed for her 34th international goal.
The U.S. got off to a fast start, Dunn hitting the bar in the seventh minute. Lloyd absorbed several hard fouls in the first half, including a 12th-minute clash that earned Katherine Alvarado a caution. Three minutes later, Klingenberg advanced on the left and sent a low cross for Dunn to convert with a sliding finish at the back post for her 10th goal of the year and a 1-0 lead.
Pugh then scored her third goal of the year, running in on the left side of the penalty area, then finishing left-footed in the 22nd minute.
The teams took the first of two water breaks in the 30th minute of a match played in 90 degree-plus temperatures.
Lloyd converted her 88th career goal off a Becky Sauerbrunn free kick in the sixth minute of first-half added time. Lloyd headed inside the back post past Dinnia Diaz from 12 yards.
U.S. coach Jill Ellis made three substitutions after halftime, adding goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher in place of Hope Solo and defenders Whitney Engen and Ali Krieger for Klingenberg and Sauerbrunn. Press replaced Alex Morgan in the 63rd minute. A second water break was taken in the 76th minute, and two minutes later, Morgan Brian and Tobin Heath entered in place of Lindsey Horan and Pugh.
The U.S. capitalized on a failed clearance as found Press unmarked near the top of the penalty area, Press taking a touch and then turning and firing a right-footer.