BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (Aug. 3, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated New Zealand 2-0 on goals from captain Carli Lloyd and forward Alex Morgan to get off to a strong start in Group G play at Mineirão Stadium in its first match of the 2016 Olympic Games.
Lloyd staked the USA to an early lead in the ninth minute before Morgan struck just 34 seconds into the second half. On the defensive side, Kelley O’Hara, Julie Johnston, Becky Sauerbrunn and Meghan Klingenberg put in a commanding performance to help earn the USA’s 14th shutout of 2016.
The USA now leads Group G (1-0-0; 3pts) with France and Colombia yet to play their opening group game. The U.S. next plays France on Saturday in Belo Horizonte (4 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBC Universo).
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Carli Lloyd (Tobin Heath), 9th minute: The USA kept the ball pinned in New Zealand’s defensive half when center back Becky Sauerbrunn stepped up and volleyed a clearance out to Tobin Heath on the left wing. Heath brought the ball down and drove toward the penalty area before cutting back toward the top of the box to lose her defender and swing in a cross toward the back right post where Lloyd was able to maneuver between two defenders and head the ball back across the face of goal into the left side netting for the early lead. USA 1, NZL 0 (SEE GOAL)
USA – Alex Morgan (Morgan Brian), 46th minute: Allie Long collected a New Zealand clearance in the center of the USA’s offensive half and played a sharp pass to Heath near the top left of the box. Heath cushioned the ball for Brian to hit a quick pass to Alex Morgan out on the left, and the USA forward struck a left footed shot from a wide angle between the near left post and Ferns goalkeeper Erin Nayler for the game’s second and final score. USA 2, NZL 0 FINAL (SEE GOAL)
Next on the Schedule: The U.S. WNT returns to action in Group G play at the 2016 Olympic Games against France at Mineirão Stadium in Belo Horizonte on Aug. 6 (4 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBC Universo) before taking off to Manaus for its final Group G game vs. Colombia on Aug. 9 (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBC Universo).
- The USA improves to 15-0-1 in 2016. The team has scored 54 goals and pitched 14 shutouts while allowing just four goals.
- The WNT is 12-1-1 all-time against New Zealand, outscoring the Football Ferns 49-5 in 14 matches.
- This is the third consecutive Olympics in which the U.S. and New Zealand have met with the USA winning all three meetings, two of which have come in group play (2012, 2016) and one in the first knockout round of the 2008 Olympics.
- Carli Lloyd’s goal was the 89th of her career and seventh Olympic goal for the USA, pushing her to second all-time to Abby Wambach's 10 Olympic tallies.
- Lloyd has now hit double-figures in goals scored for 2016 (10 goals); it is the fourth calendar year – and third in a row – that she's hit 10 or more goals (2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016)
- Alex Morgan scored her fifth Olympic goal and 68th overall. The goal ties her with Mia Hamm and Tiffany Milbrett for third behind Lloyd and Wambach on the USA’s Olympic goals-scored list.
- The game marks the first Olympic starts for Mallory Pugh, Morgan Brian, Allie Long, Becky Sauerbrunn, Julie Johnston and Meghan Klingenberg.
- It was also the first start in a senior level world championship for Pugh and Long.
- The defense of Hope Solo, Kelley O’Hara, Sauerbrunn, Johnston and Klingenberg took the field together for the ninth time in 2016.
- Lloyd earned her 225th cap and 13th in the Olympics, tied with Solo for the most on the team. She is the most-capped player at the 2016 Olympic Football tournament.
- Pugh, who made her 15th appearance this year and 11th start has a team-leading seven assists. With tonight’s start she becomes the youngest American female player to start in an Olympic match.
- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. New Zealand
Date: Aug. 3, 2016
Competition: 2016 Olympic Games; Group G
Venue: Mineirão Stadium; Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET (7 p.m. local)
Weather: 68 degrees; clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
NZL 0 0 0
USA - Carli Lloyd (Tobin Heath) 9th minute
USA - Alex Morgan (Morgan Brian) 46
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 8-Julie Johnston, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 7-Meghan Klingenberg; 3-Allie Long, 14-Morgan Brian (9-Lindsey Horan, 64), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 2-Mallory Pugh (16-Crystal Dunn, 51), 13-Alex Morgan (12-Christen Press, 81), 17-Tobin Heath
Subs not used: 6-Whitney Engen, 11-Ali Krieger, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 18-Alyssa Naeher
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
NZL: 1-Erin Nayler; 2-Ria Percival, 6-Rebekah Stott, 5-Abby Erceg (capt.), 7-Ali Riley; 14-Katie Bowen (10-Sarah Gregorius, 60), 16-Annalie Longo, 4-Katie Duncan (11-Kristy Yallop, 72), 12-Betsy Hassett; 9-Amber Hearn, 17-Hannah Wilkinson (8-Jasmine Pereira, 83)
Subs not used: 3-Anna Green, 13-Rosie White, 15-Meikayla Moore, 18-Rebecca Rolls
Head Coach: Tony Readings
Stats Summary: USA / NZL
Shots: 12 / 4
Shots on Goal: 6 / 1
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 4 / 4
Fouls: 10 / 16
Offside: 4 / 4
NZL - Betsy Hassett (caution) 18th minute
NZL - Ali Riley (caution) 30
NZL - Ria Percival (caution) 64
Referee: Kateryna Monzul (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Natalia Rachynska (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Sanja Rodak (CRO)
4th Official: Maria Carvajal (CHI)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Becky Sauerbrunn