Lindsey Horan scored from the penalty spot and Morgan Weaver made her international debut in the US Women’s National Team’s 3-0 win against the Matildas in Australia.
Horan was the only Portland Thorns player in the starting eleven for the USWNT. Both Becky Sauerbrunn and Morgan Weaver started on the bench but came on as second half substitutes. Bella Bixby and Sophia Smith were not included in the match day squad. Smith was unavailable because she is still in concussion protocol, according to US Soccer.
Horan made her 107th appearance and captained the side for the second time in her career. She previously wore the armband when she celebrated her 100th cap. Horan also donned the No. 10 shirt for the first time after Carli Lloyd passed it on to here during the last camp. It was the first time someone other than Lloyd wore the No. 10 for the USWNT since November 8, 2008, when Aly Wagner wore it.
The U.S. got on the board immediately. Australia attempted to clear the ball forward and Lynn Williams got under it and headed it forward to Ashley Hatch. Hatch chested the ball down and slid it past the keeper to give the Americans the lead 24 seconds into the match.
The USWNT dictated things early through their pressing efforts. Rose Lavelle picked the pocket of an Australian defender and dribbled into the area before lashing a shot into the wrong side of the net. The US won the ball back again minutes later and Lavelle cut inside on her left foot and curled her shot wide of the far post.
In the 22nd minute, the Americans created a point-blank chance. Horan passed wide to Emily Fox. The left back got it to Williams, who chipped a cross to the back post. Right back Emily Sonnett soared through the box to meet it but couldn’t steer her header on target.
Australia started dealing with the US press better and created multiple quality chances. Sam Kerr headed a ball into the path on the on-rushing Kyah Simon, who launched from distance. Casey Murphy caught it easily. Horan had her pocket picked in the 33rd minute which led to a Kerr long-distance effort that Casey Murphy tipped over the bar.
The US nearly struck in transition. Andi Sullivan took advantage of a Matildas’ giveaway and played a first-time ball over the top to Margaret Purce. Purce was unable to test the keeper and smashed her shot over the bar.
The Matildas put the Americans under a lot of pressure at the end of the half and would’ve equalized if it wasn’t for poor finishing and the heroics of goalkeeper Murphy. In the 38th minute, Sullivan turned the ball over. Caitlin Foord picked up possession, danced past Sonnett and cut the ball back to Simon. She shanked her shot over the bar much to the disbelief of her teammates.
Seven minutes later Mary Fowler played Kerr into the 18-yard box. The forward hit a low shot that forced Murphy into a kick save. In first-half added time, the Matildas swung a free kick into the box that made its way to Foord. She struck a half volley that was tipped over the bar by Murphy.
The U.S. opened the second half with another early goal. Substitute Sofia Huerta won a header and played it wide to Purce. Purce sprinted down the right and beat her defender before cutting the ball back to Lavelle. The midfielder redirected it into the bottom corner to double the U.S. lead.
Australia nearly cut the lead in half. Charlotte Grant ran down the touchline and multiple U.S. defenders stopped playing because they thought the ball was out of bounds. Grant was able to put in a cross and found Kerr, who headed it straight to Murphy.
In the 67th minute, Lynn Williams and Ellie Carpenter battled for a bouncing ball. Horan ran onto it and was brought down in the box. Horan stepped to the spot and calmly struck the ball into the back of the net. The U.S. dominated from then on out.
Morgan Weaver replaced Hatch in the 74th minute to make her international debut. In the 84th minute, Becky Sauerbrunn came on to make her 198th appearance for the USWNT.
Neither team found a late goal and the match ended 3-0 in favor of the USWNT. The two teams will meet again on Tuesday, November 30. Kick off is slated for 1:05 a.m. PST in the Newcastle International Sports Centre and will be broadcast on ESPN.