Christen Press Leads USA Past Norway in 2017 International Women's Friendly

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2017

GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN - JUNE 08: Christen Press of USA during the international friendly between Sweden and USA at Ullevi Stadium on June 8, 2017 in Gothenburg, Sweden. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images)
Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images

Christen Press scored the only goal in the United States' 1-0 win over Norway in an international friendly on Sunday, and the Stars and Stripes ended their two-match tour of Europe with a perfect record.

Norway were the better team in a dire first half, but the U.S. improved slightly after the break and were ruthlessly efficient, scoring with one of their few chances. The Americans beat Sweden by the same score on Thursday.

Here's a look at the USWNT's starting XI:

During warm-ups, Mallory Pugh injured her ankle, and she was replaced by Meghan Klingenberg.

Here's the Norwegian team:

While the Americans entered the match as favourites, Norway didn't shy away from attacking early on, leading to plenty of action up and down the pitch. Midfield battles were tough, but chances were rare, with Crystal Dunn going closest in the first 30 minutes.

As the half wore on, the hosts took the upper hand, with Ada Hegerberg flashing her considerable talent. The U.S. defence struggled at times, as their lack of pace was somewhat exposed, but as shared by the team's Twitter account, they survived until half-time:

The visitors introduced Lindsey Horan to start the second half, and it seemed to have an immediate impact. Rose Lavelle fired a shot wide, and minutes later, she tried her luck again, this time going too high.

Press headed wide after a cross from Dunn, but she had more luck shortly after. Becky Sauerbrunn fired in an excellent delivery in the 60th minute, making the Chicago Red Stars player's job easy. David Rudin of the Montreal Gazette loved the pass:

Here's a look at the goal:

A corner from Lavelle was nearly converted for a second goal, with three different players getting a touch, before play was stopped when Ingvild Isaksen took an elbow to the face from Horan. Somehow, the substitute did not receive a booking even though a red card was deserved.

FourFourTwo USA's Richard Farley shared this photo, showing the extent of the damage:

Carli Lloyd made a late appearance as a substitute, but the visitors spent the final minutes defending their lead, and Norway didn't do any damage.

The Stars and Stripes will return to the pitch in July for the Tournament of Nations.