Carli Lloyd, USA Beat Chile to Reach 2019 Women's World Cup Knockout Stage

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2019

United States' forward Carli Lloyd (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the France 2019 Women's World Cup Group F football match between USA and Chile, on June 16, 2019, at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Reigning champions the United States reached the last 16 of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup after beating Chile 3-0 in Group F on Sunday. 

Carli Lloyd bagged a brace but missed a second-half penalty, while Julie Ertz also found the net thanks to a fine header at the Parc des Princes in Paris.

The goals have put coach Jill Ellis' team back in top spot after Sweden beat Thailand 5-1 earlier in the day.

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Ellis had made seven changes to her lineup, leaving star names such as Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe on the bench. Yet there was no drop in the performance levels as the U.S. went in front after just 11 minutes.

Lloyd got on the scoresheet in spectacular fashion courtesy of a thunderous volley:

The brilliant strike also helped make history for Lloyd, who has consistently been prolific at this level:

Chile thought they were level 11 minutes later when Carla Guerro's instinctive touch deceived goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. However, video replay came to the rescue for the U.S., judging Guerro to be offside.

The decision proved costly as Ertz made an improvised header count four minutes later.

Power in the air meant the U.S. maintained a considerable threat from set pieces, and it was no surprise the third goal came from a corner. It was Lloyd who met the cross to net her 10th World Cup goal.

Out-swinging deliveries were causing Chile problems, as was the intelligent movement in the box from Lloyd and Co.

A comfortable lead at the break meant Ellis could continue to refresh the lineup. She brought on North Carolina Courage striker Jessica McDonald and moved Lloyd off the front into a natural No. 10 position.

McDonald's pace caused immediate problems after the restart. The only reason the U.S. didn't quickly extend their tally was the standout performance of Chile goalkeeper Christiane Endler.

She produced two remarkable saves, first to deny Lindsey Horan. The full-back was teed up by the influential Christen Press, but Endler stuck out a foot to deny what should have been a tap-in.

Next, it was McDonald's turn to be denied. She had already hit the post, but must have thought she'd scored when her point-blank header appeared to have Endler beaten.

Yet quick feet, a full-stretch dive and a strong hand helped produce the save of the tournament so far and leave McDonald frustrated.

Even when Endler could be beaten, the U.S. were let down by poor finishing. Lloyd should have sealed her hat-trick from the spot after VAR prompted the awarding of a penalty, but she dragged her effort wide of the post, with Endler going the right way.

The miss meant Lloyd had wasted the chance to become the first player to score a hat-trick in two editions of the Women's World Cup.

It didn't matter in terms of the outcome, though, as the U.S. had done more than enough to not only progress, but also to offer a reminder of why every other team should fear the holders.

   

What's Next?

The U.S. and Sweden meet in Le Havre on Thursday, June 20, for the right to finish first in the group.

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