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

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2016

Sep 15, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA;  USA midfielder Heather O'Reilly (9) looks on during the first half of the match against the Thailand at MAPFRE Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

In her final match for the United States women's national soccer team, midfielder Heather O'Reilly recorded a goal and an assist in the team's 9-0 win over Thailand in an international friendly from MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. 

Striker Carli Lloyd was the woman of the match though, recording a hat trick and four assists on the night. 

This was the United States' first match since its Olympic quarterfinal loss to Sweden in penalties in August, and there was one notable absence in the lineup. Goalkeeper Hope Solo is serving her six-month ban that stemmed from calling Sweden "cowards" after the loss. 

Instead of the familiar face that Solo provided, manager Jill Ellis went with Ashlyn Harris in goal. Her last appearance with the national team was Aug. 16, 2015.  

While Harris was looking to break into the side, another was calling it quits Thursday night, as O'Reilly retired from international play after the match. 

Captaining the side in her final game, O'Reilly's 231st national team cap finished up a 15-year career that saw her win three Olympic gold medals and a Women's World Cup. 

ESPN's Paul Carr broke down her stellar career heading into the match:

Paul Carr @PaulCarrTM

Heather O'Reilly plays her final #USWNT game tonight. She's had a good run. https://t.co/WOBwBva2Ui

As she was honored before the match, the American Outlaws couldn't help but get emotional:

The American Outlaws @AmericanOutlaws

It's OK to cry. #ThanksHAO

There was plenty of focus on the sidelines during the pregame ceremonies too, as reserve midfielder Megan Rapinoe took a knee during the United States' national anthem, via Four Four Two USA:

FourFourTwo USA ⚽️ @FourFourTwoUSA

Megan Rapinoe kneels during anthem before #USWNT friendly against Thailand. https://t.co/xEOQ0tQDRk https://t.co/iyfrSgU5kj

But the focus quickly shifted back to O'Reilly, who provided a cross 40 seconds into the match that was headed into the back of the net by Lloyd to give the United States a quick 1-0 lead.

It was O'Reilly's 55th career assist for the national team and gave the Washington Spirit of the NWSL an idea:

Washington Spirit @WashSpirit

Can we start calling a beautiful cross a "HAO" after she retires? #ThanksHAO 1-0! #USAvTHA

In the fourth minute, Christen Press doubled the United States' lead after Tobin Heath's cross into the box was laid off by Lloyd to the scorer in front of an open net. 

While the stage wasn't nearly as large, it gave Press an opportunity to move past her failed penalty that sealed the United States' fate at the Olympics.

Less than one minute later, O'Reilly got her goal, the 47th of her career, to put the U.S. up 3-0. After intercepting a pass at the back, Lloyd played provider once again by sending a low cross into the path of an onrushing O'Reilly at the center of the box with nothing but an open goal in front of her, via U.S. Soccer WNT:

U.S. Soccer WNT @ussoccer_wnt

Scoring is fun. Scoring in your final #USWNT game? That's something else. Congrats, @HeatherOReilly! #ThanksHAO https://t.co/Hmoo6ovpgS

She was exceeding the already-high expectations set by her former teammate Aly Wagner:

Aly Wagner @alywagner

So I texted HAO I predicted 2 sick assists, 1 decent one and 1 maybe 2 textbook goals...I may have shot too low. #HAO #USWNT

But Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl saw too much of a hapless Harlem Globetrotters opponent in Thailand:

Grant Wahl @GrantWahl

Retiring Heather O'Reilly already has a goal & assist, and Thailand is worse than the Washington Generals.

Erick Fernandez of the Huffington Post used a Simpsons reference to try to describe the first few minutes of the match:

Erick Fernandez @ErickFernandez

#USWNT vs. Thailand in the first 5 minutes. https://t.co/9kGVimHxnm

O'Reilly almost scored a second in the 17th minute after receiving a cross from Press at the right of Thailand's goal, but her first-time shot attempt was scuffed and cleared off the line. 

Heath made it four in the 36th minute when she beat defender Kanjanaporn Saengkoon to the right of Thailand's goal and immediately chipped goalkeeper Yada Sengyong, who could only watch as the ball struck off the crossbar and fell behind the goal line. 

That was Heath's last contribution of the match as she was substituted at halftime for Rapinoe, who was met by a mixed reaction from the crowd, via Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch:

Lloyd got her second of the match in the 60th minute when a cross from O'Reilly deflected off Thailand defender Pikul Khueanpet and into the striker's path. 

But it was Crystal Dunn who provided the goal of the match in the 70th minute when she sent a left-footed scorcher from the edge of the 18-yard box that narrowly grazed the right-handed post and went in. 

Lloyd completed her seventh career hat trick when a scramble after two saves by Sengyong saw the ball fall right to the American, who simply poked the ball into the back of the goal in the 81st minute. 

Alex Morgan rounded out the scoring with a pair of goals in the 85th and 92nd minute to cap off an impressive evening. 

In the 88th minute, though, fans at MAPFRE Stadium had an opportunity to pay tribute to O'Reilly, as she was subbed out to a thunderous standing ovation. 

While fans were celebrating O'Reilly and talking about Rapinoe, ESPN's Max Bretos was quick to point out the scoreboard:

Moving forward, the United States' friendly schedule continues Sunday when it faces the Netherlands at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. 

With no Solo and with the departure of O'Reilly, Ellis will continue to tweak her side to find the best possible replacements moving forward. 


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