USA vs. Netherlands Women's Soccer: Score and Twitter Reaction for 2016 Friendly

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2016

US' midfield Carli Lloyd kicks a penalty during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Quarter-finals women's football match USA vs Sweden, at the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia on August 12, 2016. / AFP / EVARISTO SA        (Photo credit should read EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images)
EVARISTO SA/Getty Images

The United States women's national soccer team added to its resume with a 3-1 victory over the Netherlands in an international friendly Sunday.

An own goal by the Netherlands made the difference in the 50th minute, but goals by Carli Lloyd and Allie Long helped secure the win over the No. 12 team in the FIFA World Ranking. Lloyd also had an assist in a strong showing Sunday night.

Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who started in place of the suspended Hope Solo, performed well, with the exception of an early goal she had little chance to stop.

John D. Halloran of The Equalizer also credited Tobin Heath with a strong performance:

The United States was coming off a disappointing showing at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro but likely feels better after securing a win over a strong opponent just three days after earning a 9-0 victory over Thailand.

There was a bit of shock in the stadium early as the Netherlands took the lead two minutes into the match.

Off the Post described the impressive start for the visitors:

Shanice van de Sanden was too fast for the U.S. defense and earned a one-on-one opportunity against the goalkeeper. With a strong finish, the Netherlands was up 1-0.

The United States controlled a majority of the possession throughout the first half but failed to get many good looks at the net.

The Americans were finally able to equalize in the 35th minute on a mistake by the defense that left Heath open on the right side.

She showed great patience before finding Lloyd for the game-tying score, as the team's official Twitter account showed:

The USWNT noted how dominant Lloyd has been lately:

The U.S. remained the more aggressive team from that point on, earning plenty of chances to take the lead.

After going into halftime with the score tied 1-1, the squad broke through in the second half thanks to an own goal by Mandy van den Berg.

Christen Press—who had entered the match a few minutes earlier—forced the issue on the own goal, leading her club's Twitter account to give her credit for the score:

Heath may have gotten away with a foul on the defender on the play, but it went uncalled as the U.S. seized a 2-1 lead.

In the 77th minute, the U.S. extended the lead on a header by Long. Megan Rapinoe sent the ball into the box to Lloyd, who found Long to put it into the back of the net. 

The team's official Twitter account shared the replay:

A strong save by Naeher prevented a goal by the Netherlands shortly after, keeping the lead at a safe distance going into the final portion of the match. Thanks to some quality U.S. passing to keep possession down the stretch, the Netherlands never had another legitimate chance for the rest of the night.

The USWNT won't reconvene until after the National Women's Soccer League season comes to a close. The squad will return to action for two matches against Switzerland on Oct. 19 and Oct. 23.

After back-to-back wins, the upcoming friendlies will be another opportunity for the team to test itself against a quality European opponent.

          

Postgame Reaction

Netherlands wasn't intimidated by the United States. After the former scored in the first couple of minutes, it was up to the United States to respond.

"We certainly had to raise our game," U.S. manager Jill Ellis said after the match, per Doug Roberson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I don’t think we came out in terms of prepared to match their intensity. I was pleased with our response. Second half they couldn’t breathe. We were all over them and locked them in."

The second half was clearly better for the home squad as it pulled away for the win.

                        

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