LE HAVRE, France (Jan. 19, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s National Team opened its 10-game pre-2019 World Cup schedule with a 3-1 loss to tournament hosts, France at Stade Océane – one of the USA’s group stage venues for this summer’s competition – in front of raucous sold-out crowd of 23,000.
France’s Kadidiatou Diani put the hosts on the board early with a goal in the 9th minute, while the USA was able to get a few chances with Christen Press leading the way on the left wing.
In the second half, the USA came out determined and immediately began to get into France’s final third, with a good chance coming around the 50th minute mark. In the 56th however, Diani showed off some excellent individual play and netted her second of the match for the 2-0 France advantage. France’s 20-year-old Marie-Antoinette Katoto added a third in the final minutes of regulation before Mallory Pugh finished off a good passing sequence with a well-taken shot across the face of goal into the lower right corner in second half stoppage time.
Up Next: The U.S. travels to the southern tip of the Iberian penninsula to face Spain in Alicante on January 22 (2:30 p.m. ET; ESPN2 & UDN) at Estadio José Rico Pérez. The match will be the first in history between the teams.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
FRA – Kadidiatou Diani (Delphine Cascarino), 9th: The USA turned the ball over in its attacking third and France sprung a counter attack down the right side as Delphine Cascarino sprinted past Emily Fox to win the ball and took it to the end line before cutting it back in the box for Diani. She bodied off a U.S. defender as she collected the ball and then hit a low shot into the lower left corner from nine yards out for the early lead. USA 0, FRA 1
FRA – Kadidiatou Diani (Marion Torrent), 56th: France doubled its advantage on a nice bit of individual play from Diani, who ran onto a ball in the right side of the U.S. penalty area and sent a deft chip over U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, dropping it into the net just inside the right post. USA 0, FRA 2
FRA – Marie-Antoinette Katoto (Élise Bussaglia), 78th: With the U.S. pushing forward trying to pull a game back, France’s 20-year old young star got behind the U.S. back line on left side, dribbled around Naeher and rolled the ball to the back of the net from a tight angle. USA 0, FRA 3.
USA – Mallory Pugh (Carli Lloyd), 90+1: The U.S. put together a flowing move beginning with a pass out of the back that Jessica McDonald one-touched to Carli Lloyd, who spotted the early run of Pugh and hit a quick chip over the France defense. Pugh out-worked a defender to collect Lloyd’s pass and rifle a low shot from the left side of the box across the face of goal and into the lower right corner. USA 1, FRA 3 [WATCH] FINAL
- Tonight marked the first loss for the USA in 28 games. The U.S. hadn’t lost a game since July 2017 when it lost 1-0 to Australia.
- Several U.S. players were precautionarily unavailable today: Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, Casey Short, and Julie Ertz due to minor injuries, while Kelley O'Hara is still returning from ankle surgery, but not yet game ready.
- Tierna Davidson made her first appearance for the USA since Sept. 4, 2018. Davidson broke her ankle early in the season while playing with Stanford and was out for the remainder of the year.
- The USA’s record vs. France now stands at 17-3-3.