Carli Lloyd, USWNT Beat Portugal in Friendly as Jill Ellis Earns 105th Win

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 4, 2019

United States' Carli Lloyd scores a goal against Portugal during the first half of a friendly soccer match Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

The United States women's national team defeated Portugal 3-0 on Tuesday at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The result was a milestone for coach Jill Ellis, who notched her 105th win in charge of the national team to tie her with Tony DiCicco for the most all time.

Carli Lloyd had a brace, scoring in the 22nd and 32nd minutes, and Lindsey Horan got on the score sheet in the 83rd minute as well. The USWNT notched its second victory over Portugal in less than a week as part of its 2019 Women's World Cup victory tour.

Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the next stop. The United States will face off with South Korea on Oct. 3.

Lloyd picked up where she left off in the previous meeting. The 37-year-old had a goal and an assist in the USWNT's first win over Portugal and then scored the first two goals Tuesday.

Her first was fortuitous, as Portugal turned what should've been a straightforward clearance into an adventure. Rather than getting the ball out of her the 18-yard box, Tatiana Pinto directed it toward her own goal. After some confusion, Lloyd had a point-blank chance in front of an open goal.

A penalty set up Lloyd's second. Ana Borges brought down Tobin Heath just inside the box, and the referee pointed to the spot. 

With any drama about the outcome gone, the big question became whether Lloyd would successfully complete her hat trick.

She ultimately fell short. The addition of Mallory Pugh in the 57th minute pushed her a little deeper into midfield, making it harder to find a scoring opportunity.

Her teammates didn't have better luck. Horan added the USWNT's third in the 83rd minute as the United States struggled to turn its possession into meaningful chances.

The USWNT finished with 21 total shots, 10 of which were on target, per ESPN FC. Portugal, on the other hand, had only one shot over the full 90 minutes.

Tuesday was a night to remember for Kristen Hamilton. The 27-year-old, who has eight goals and three assists in 16 appearances for the North Carolina Courage, made her USWNT debut, replacing Jessica McDonald in the 76th minute.

With two more friendlies remaining, the victory tour will give Hamilton a little more time to feature on the pitch before Ellis steps down and the national team moves in a new direction.

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