AUSTIN, Texas (June 16, 2021)— Stoppage-time goals at the end of each half fueled the U.S. Women’s National Team to a 2-0 victory against Nigeria in the final match of its 2021 WNT Summer Series, presented by AT&T 5G. The USWNT opened Austin’s new Q2 Stadium with a win as Christen Press continued her torrid attacking hot streak, scoring in first-half stoppage time and teeing up Lynn Williams for an exclamation point in the game’s waning moments.
The Summer Series finale was a more open affair than the USWNT’s first two matches, as Nigeria showed more of an inclination to attack as compared to the bunkers that were dug in by Portugal and Jamaica. In a physical game from the get-go, the USA had the better offensive opportunities, but the Super Falcons weren’t shy about getting up the field in a hurry and laying down hard tackles on the defensive end.
While Press continued to menace opposing defenses – and had the honor of scoring the first goal at the brand new $260 million stadium -- Carli Lloyd also sparked chances with her aggressive pressing from the No. 9 spot. Megan Rapinoe nearly teed up the U.S. opener halfway through the first half, when Lloyd and Kristie Mewis collided with Nigeria goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi as they tried to finish off a pass inside the six-yard box.
Further prime opportunities came after the hydration break on a hot and humid night in Austin, as Rapinoe had a goal waved offside and Lloyd juggled dangerously into the box before being whistled for a handball just after the half-hour mark.
The U.S. continued to knock on the door as the half wore on and finally broke through in stoppage time, when Lloyd’s hustle won a ball and it fell to an unmarked Press who hit a curling first-time shot to the far post for the opening goal.
Press is in the midst of an impressive offensive streak. Tonight, she rose to sole possession of ninth place on the all-time USWNT scoring list with 61 career goals, breaking a tie with Shannon MacMillan and now has been directly involved with 34 goals in her last 35 games for the USA, scoring 14 goals and contributing 21 assists.
While the USA had a number of chances in the second half, its best came late in the game. Press nearly netted her second of the night in the 85th minute as Rapinoe sent in a rolling cross near the penalty spot, but Press’ hard-hit first-time shot was stopped by a nice save from Oluehi.
The USA’s five second-half substitutes also made an impact down the stretch, as the fresh legs of Williams doubled the American advantage. Press found Williams on the run down the right flank and the NC Courage forward did the rest, getting behind the defense before pushing the ball past the ‘keeper and slotting it home just inside the right post for her 11th international goal.
Next up, head coach Vlatko Andonovski will name his final 18-player roster for the Tokyo Olympics and the USWNT will face Mexico on July 1 and 5 in Hartford, Conn., during its Send-Off Series, presented by Visa, just before the USA departs for Japan.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
USA – Christen Press (Carli Lloyd), 45+2nd minute: Lindsey Horan launched a ball downfield from the half line and Nigeria’s attempted clearance flew to Kristie Mewis, who headed it forward to Lloyd. She took a touch to split two defenders and flicked it to her right to Press, who ripped a first-time left-footed shot inside the left post from 16 yards out for the first goal in Q2 Stadium. USA 1, NGA 0
USA – Lynn Williams (Christen Press), 90+4th minute: Press sent a bouncing long ball to Williams dashing towards goal on the right wing. As she sped past her defender, Nigeria goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi came out to make a play and Williams took a touch to glide around the ‘keeper before sending a right-footed rolling shot into the net from nine yards out. USA 2, NGA 0
The USWNT improves to 7-0-0 vs. Nigeria. Tonight’s match marked the first meeting between the USA and Nigeria in friendly competition as the previous six games all came at world championship events.
The USA’s unbeaten streak now stands at 42 matches, the third-longest in USWNT history, trailing only a 43-game unbeaten run from March 2012 to March 2014 and a 51-match unbeaten streak from Dec. 2004 to Sept. 2007.
The USWNT’s home unbeaten streak now stands at 56 games, which includes 51 wins and five draws. During the streak, the U.S. has outscored its opponents 197-27, including a 63-1 margin during its last 17 matches.
It’s the USA’s 18th-straight home victory, dating back to head coach Vlatko Andonovski’s first match in charge of the team in November of 2019.
Andonovski is 20-0-1 in his first 20 games (two at the end of 2019, nine in 2020 and 10 so far in 2021), setting a record for the best start for a head coach in USWNT history.
Andonovski made six changes from the USA’s 4-0 victory vs. Jamaica on Sunday night. Alyssa Naeher replaced Adrianna Franch in goal, Kelly O’Hara and Becky Sauerbrunn replaced Tierna Davidson and Emily Sonnett on the back line, Kristie Mewis and Samantha Mewis replaced Rose Lavelle and Catarina Macario in the midfield and Megan Rapinoe replaced Margaret Purce in the attack.
Lloyd was honored prior to the match for her historic 300th cap earned on April 10 against Sweden, when she became just the third player in international soccer history to reach the 300 cap milestone.
Lloyd’s assist to Press was the 63rd of her USWNT career. She’s now just three assists shy of passing Tiffeny Milbrett (65) for fifth-most in team history.
Seven of Lynn Williams’ 11 career international goals have come under Andonovski.
Naeher recorded her 42nd career shutout and 13th in her last 14 appearances.
Tonight marked the second time the Mewis sisters have started a match together for the USWNT and their sixth time sharing the field, extending a record for most games played together by two sisters on the U.S. team.
-U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-
Match: United States Women’s National Team vs. Nigeria
Date: June 16, 2021
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Q2 Stadium; Austin, Texas (Inaugural Match)
Attendance: 20,500 (Sell-out)
Kickoff: 9:08 p.m. ET/8:08 p.m. local
Weather: 90 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
NGA 0 0 0
USA – Christen Press (Carli Lloyd) 45+2nd minute
USA – Lynn Williams (Christen Press) 90+4
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 19-Crystal Dunn (12-Tierna Davidson, 88), 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 5-Kelley O’Hara; 9-Lindsey Horan, 3-Samantha Mewis (11-Catarina Macario, 61), 22-Kristine Mewis (14-Emily Sonnett, 61); 23-Christen Press, 10-Carli Lloyd (Capt.) (13-Alex Morgan, 53), 15-Megan Rapinoe (6-Lynn Williams, 88)
Substitutes not used: 2-Sophia Smith, 16-Rose Lavelle, 18-Jane Campbell, 20-Margaret Purce, 21-Adrianna Franch, 25-Andi Sullivan, 26-Alana Cook
Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski
NGA: 1-Tochukwu Oluehi; 14-Chidinma Okeke, 5-Onome Ebi, 4-Glory Ogbonna (6-Charity Adule, 75); 22-Michelle Alozie, 10-Rita Chikwelu (2-Gift Monday, 89), 12-Ijeoma Okonronkwo (19-Akudo Ogbonna, 59), 15-Rasheedat Ajibade, 9-Toni Payne; 8-Asisat Oshoala (Capt.), 17-Francisca Ordega (13-Ifeoma Onumonu, 65)
Substitutes not used: 16-Yewande Balogun, 23-Sunday Inyene Etim; 3-Onyinyechi Salome Zogg, 7-Roosa Ariyo, 11-Amanda Uju Mbadi, 18-Obianujuwan Ikechukwu, 20-Blessing Demehin, 21-Nicole Payne
Head coach: Randy Waldrum
Stats Summary: USA / NGA
Shots: 15 / 7
Shots on Goal: 6 / 1
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 4 / 1
Fouls: 11 / 10
Offside: 7 / 1
USA – Kristie Mewis (Caution) 26th minute
NGA – Ijeoma Okonronkwo 49
NGA – Chidinma Okeke (Caution) 57
USA – Emily Sonnett (Caution) 79
Referee: Katja Koroleva (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Katy Nesbitt (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Brooke Mayo (USA)
4th Official: Karen Abt (USA)
U.S. Soccer Insiders Woman of the Match: Christen Press