BRASILIA, Brazil (Dec. 18, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team needed to win big to put itself in position to potentially advance to the final of the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia, and its offense came through. Led by four goals from Christen Press and a Carli Lloyd hat trick, the USA defeated Argentina 7-0 in its third group match at Mane Garrincha Stadium.
Press scored three goals in the first half and the seventh of the game while Lloyd notched her second-career hat trick (the other came against Mexico on Jan. 24, 2012) and also moved into seventh place on the WNT’s all-time goal scoring list with 61.
With Brazil defeating China PR 4-1 in Thursday's later match, that sets up a final between the USA and host Brazil on Sunday, Dec. 21 (4 p.m. ET). Brazil went 3-0-0 in group play (9 points, plus-8 goal differential). The U.S. is second (1-1-1, 4 points, plus-6). China (1-1-1, 4 points, plus-3) will play Argentina (0-3-0, 0 points, minus-17) in the third-place game at 1 p.m. ET.
Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made her full WNT debut and made one save to earn the clean sheet, becoming the seventh U.S. WNT goalkeeper to post a shutout in her first cap.
Thursday’s USA-Argentina game originally was scheduled for Wednesday and was postponed because of inclement weather and poor field conditions.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Christen Press (Morgan Brian), 7th minute: The U.S. struck quickly when Brian dribbled down the right side and forced Argentina goalkeeper Elisabeth Minnin to make the save, pushing the ball to her right. Press was on the spot to slam home the rebound. USA 1, ARG 0
USA – Christen Press (Abby Wambach), 23rd minute: In a combination on the right side of the box, Wambach played the ball to Press who took a couple dribbles and shot from 10 yards out. Elisabeth Minnin got a piece of the ball but was unable to parry it away. USA 2, ARG 0
USA – Carli Lloyd (Morgan Brian), 30th minute: From the left side, Brian chipped in a perfect cross to Lloyd who headed it home for the three-goal cushion. The goal gave Lloyd a score in every match of the tournament. USA 3, ARG 0
USA – Christen Press (Ali Krieger), 41st minute: Right back Ali Krieger crossed the ball in to Press who flicked her shot into the net at the near post for a first-half hat trick. It was Press’ first hat trick of her WNT career. USA 4, ARG 0
USA – Carli Lloyd (Lori Chalupny), 44th minute: The outside backs continued to make an offensive impact as Chalupny dribbled up the left side of the box, beat her defender and crossed the ball in to Lloyd, who finished from close range for her second tally of the opening half. USA 5, ARG 0
USA – Carli Lloyd (Heather O’Reilly), 47th minute: To open the second half, Megan Rapinoe crossed the ball in from the left side. Halftime substitute O’Reilly kept the attack alive with a high touch near the goal line and Lloyd hit a full volley into the lower left corner for her third goal of the match. USA 6, ARG 0
USA – Christen Press (Megan Rapinoe), 78th minute: Megan Rapinoe dribbled into the penalty area and smashed a shot that the Argentina goalkeeper could not handle cleanly. That opened the door for Press, who tapped her shot in for her fourth goal of the match and her 11th of the year. USA 7, ARG 0 (FINAL)
- With at least one goal in seven consecutive games, Carli Lloyd is now two games away from matching the U.S. WNT record of nine set by Michelle Akers from April 5 to May 25, 1991. Lloyd has 10 goals during that seven-game stretch.
- Lloyd moves ahead of Shannon MacMillan for seventh place on the WNT’s all-time goal scoring list. Lloyd has 61 goals in 184 matches. MacMillan scored 60 goals in 176 games.
- Alyssa Naeher became the seventh U.S. WNT goalkeeper to earn a shutout in her first appearance. The others are Gretchen Gegg (1986), Amy Allmann (1987), Mary Harvey (1989), Briana Scurry (1994), Hope Solo (2000) and Emily Oleksiuk (2001).
- Abby Wambach now has 69-career assists (third all-time).
Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT will look ahead to the tournament's championship game against Brazil at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 21, to cap off the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia. The championship game is preceded by the third-place game between China PR and Argentina at 1 p.m. ET.
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- The USA is now 16-3-4 in 2014.
- The U.S. is 16-1-4 under head coach Jill Ellis.
- With three goals, Carli Lloyd takes over the team lead in scoring this year from Abby Wambach with 15 goals. That ties her career high in a calendar year when she also scored 15 in 2012.
- U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made five starting lineup changes following the team’s 3-2 loss to Brazil.
- Alyssa Naeher, the 2014 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year for the Boston Breakers, made her USA debut. She became the 22nd goalkeeper to suit up for the U.S. WNT.
- The back line featured Lori Chalupny at left back, earning her second consecutive start, right back Ali Krieger and center backs Whitney Engen and Becky Sauerbrunn. Sauerbrunn has started in four straight games.
- The midfield in the USA’s 4-3-3 formation featured Carli Lloyd at attacking midfielder with Lauren Holiday and Morgan Brian behind her.
- The front three feature Tobin Heath, Abby Wambach and Christen Press from left to right. Wambach wore the captain’s armband.
- Heather O’Reilly replaced Chalupny and Megan Rapinoe entered for Heath to open the second half.
- The USA switched to a 3-5-2 for the latter part of the game.
- In the closing minutes, Sydney Leroux subbed for Wambach in the 81st minute and Kelley O’Hara replaced Lauren Holiday in the 84th minute.
- Press is the only WNT player to appear in all 23 games this year.
- Leroux picked up a red card in second-half stoppage time and will be unavailable for the USA’s placement match on Sunday.