In a game that became much more open in the second half, the USWNT had no problem putting away Portugal as Carli Lloyd recorded a goal and an assist on a special night for the forward in Philadelphia. 

By Kellen Becoats
August 29, 2019

Carli Lloyd enjoyed a homecoming of sorts in helping guide a short-handed U.S. women's national team to a 4-0 thrashing of Portugal in Philadelphia, as the Women's World Cup title victory tour continues. Lloyd, who grew up in nearby Delran, N.J., scored a goal and added an assist in the win, for which Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Kelley O'Hara, Rose Lavelle and Ali Krieger were all unavailable.

The USWNT was all over the Portuguese early, and that pressure paid off when Morgan Brian and Julie Ertz took the ball off a Portugal defender. The latter then found Christen Press making a run on the left side and the Utah Royals forward crossed it for an onrushing Tobin Heath to tap in for the first goal in the fourth minute.

Press turned provider again in the 18th minute as her corner found Morgan Brian, who dutifully headed it back past the Portuguese goalkeeper and doubled the USWNT's lead.

Then it became the Lloyd Show. Even before her goal, the forward showed plenty of intent going forward.

In the 37th minute, she burst past the Portugal defense and narrowly beat the goalkeeper before crossing just in front of goal only for no USWNT attacker to rush in. The Portuguese defender nearly turned it into her own net before clearing right as Heath closed in.

Lloyd wouldn't be denied in the 52nd minute as a long throw-in was headed on and Lloyd was able to tap the ball in. She immediately wheeled off and gave the crowd a "Fly Eagles Fly" celebration, much to the delight of 49,504 fans in Philadelphia–a record for a USWNT friendly.

In the 82nd minute, it was then time for Lloyd to get in on the assist action as she found herself in plenty of space on the right and played a perfect cross for Allie Long to head in and cap the scoring. Long mimicked the famous Philly celebration as well. 

With a lot of players who don't usually get a look in being included in the squad, there were a few growing pains throughout the match. Adrianna Franch and her backline had a few miscommunication issues throughout the night, leading to a few close calls. But ultimately the USWNT got another lopsided victory, Franch got a shutout in her second cap and Jill Ellis was able to give some playing time to players like Casey Short, Tierna Davidson, Emily Sonnett and Morgan Brian. 

The next stop on the victory tour will be a rematch with Portugal in St. Paul, Minn., on Sept. 3.

You May Like