Chile gave the United States a more physical test than their first group stage game but the USWNT remained in control and won 3-0 at the Women’s World Cup. The USA took control and scored early, before goalkeeper Christiane Endler could get going. She inevitably made some tremendous saves but it was too little, too late as the USWNT was already ahead by then.

USA’s first goal came from a legend. While she has been more of a super sub, Carli Lloyd took advantage of a start up front and beat teammate Julie Ertz to the ball to put USA on the board just 11 minutes in. With that goal, Lloyd broke a Women’s World Cup record by scoring in her sixth consecutive World Cup game.

Chile almost got a shock equalizer after getting behind the backline on a set piece. Luckily for the United States, Chile was offside but goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher didn’t know that and really struggled to get to that ball. Goalkeeping may be the key for other teams to focus on if they want to beat the United States.

Ertz got another shot and that proved true, heading in a ball with the back of her head. The difficulty of making this work is tremendous but Ertz made it look easy for a 2-0 lead.

Lloyd got her second of the game on a header as well. Set piece attacking was crucial for the United States early on and they showed that here. Especially with 20-year-old Tierna Davidson providing the service on her World Cup debut. Davidson would end the game with _ assists.

Even though the game was all but out of reach by halftime, that wasn’t the end of the fireworks. After a lengthy review, it was ruled that Lindsey Horan was fouled. She was brought down on the edge of the box so it wasn’t sure if she was inside, outside, or on the line but the ref overturned her call and ruled a penalty. Lloyd had a chance to complete her hat trick and replace Brazil’s Cristiane as the oldest player to score a hat trick but pulled her shot wide.

Lloyd’s penalty highlighted the strength of Chile’s goalkeeper Christiane Endler. Ignore the scoreline, the PSG keeper may have been the best player on the field for both teams. That sounds like a hot take but consider the exquisite saves Endler had and it’s easy to think the United States could’ve scored at least a few more.

With the win, the United States are in the Round of 16 and face Sweden in the final group stage game. With Sweden and USA both at six points, the winner will win Group F. And since the United States won 13-0 against Thailand, they have a higher goal differential and will advance with a draw. No offense to Thailand and Chile but Sweden, a top ten team, will be the first big test for the United States.

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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