History was made at BBVA Compass on Sunday afternoon as USWNT forces ran roughshod over Mexico. Much like Santa Ana overran the Americans showing no mercy at the Battle of the Alamo, the USWNT returned the favor 181 years later running around and through the Mexican defense enroute to a 6-2 win. Carli Lloyd’s 100th international goal highlighted the match and proved to be the game winner.
Lloyd’s goal came in the 34th minute but very easily could have come in the first two minutes of the match. Mexico keeper Cecile Santiago robbed her from point blank range not once but twice in succession but eventually could not stop the inevitable. The international star’s 100th goal put her elite company with USA scoring legends Abby Wambach (184/256 games) and Mia Hamm (158/276 games) as well as Kristine Lilly, Michelle Akers and Tiffany Millbrett. Lloyd, who spent three seasons in Houston, thanked the crowd of 15,349 who witnessed another entry into soccer’s history book.
“If I couldn’t get the goal in New Jersey,” said Lloyd, “then Houston is the next best thing.”
BBVA Compass Stadium has been the site of many of Lloyd’s biggest goals as she scored goals 43, 86, 97 and now 100 on its green pitch. The goal was also the two time FIFA Player of the Year’s 11th goal in 16 appearances against Mexico.
Lloyd began her USWNT career wearing number 11 and on Sunday 19 year old teenage sensation Mallory Pugh, the current wearer of number 11, opened the scoring in the third minute of play. For Pugh it was her 11th international goal in 35 games.
Mexico had rebounded from a the 1-0 deficit on two consecutive set piece goals in the 17th and 24th minute. Monica Ocampo, also wearing number 11, curled in the equalizer for 15th international tally. Seven minutes later, Kiana Palacios, on a day when Lloyd got her 100th, she got her first international marker. The goal by Sky Blue FC 2018 draftee came on a strong header as she rose above the USA defense to knock it home.
Lloyd credited her teammates past and present with her reaching the 100 goal milestone and what a team effort it was on the play that unfolded in the 34th minute. With the score tied at 2-2, the USA sent an attacking wave of white towards Santiago and the Mexican defense. USA midfielder Megan Rapinoe gathered a ball at the endline curled away from the goal back towards the 18 before sending the ball near the far post where Lindsey Horan, who scored the USWNT’s second goal of the match, sent it back to six yard line finding forward Alex Morgan. Morgan touch bounced just in front of the goal line finding the head of Lloyd who flicked it home as she flashed across the goal mouth.
It was only fitting that Rapinoe who netted a goal and four assists on the day would secure the ball and present it to Lloyd who kissed it before holding it aloft to her cheering fans.
Morgan whose touch led to Lloyd’s goal had two of her own in the match as she inched closer to that magical 100 mark herself. With goals 84 and 85 in game number 135, the Diamond Bar, California native is just 15 away. Morgan now has 12 goals in her last 13 games with the USWNT and consecutive braces giving her 19 in her career. She ranks seventh on the all-time scoring list.
Lindsey Horan had pulled the USA level in the 25th minute off a corner from Rapinoe to set the stage for Lloyd.
“It’s obviously a great milestone, but I’ve got a lot of things I still want to accomplish left in my career,” Lloyd said. “To look back on where I started in 2005 to the player I’ve become, you don’t very often get to sit back and reflect because you’re always waiting for that next big thing. It’s pretty cool, it’s an honor, but as people know me, I’m moving on to the next.”
For Lloyd and the USA side, getting back to work means a set of international friendlies against in China one June 7 in Sandy, Utah and the other on June 12 in Cleveland, Ohio.
In other USWNT news
- Houston Dash midfielder Haley Hanson, Hailee Mace and Teegan McGrady earned their first international caps.
- Houston Dash keeper Jane Campbell in her first international start earned first win and her third cap.
- Sofia Huerta, who came on for Emily Sonnett in the 74th minute, became the first WNT player to play for Mexico against the USA, and for the USA against Mexico. Her change of associations was approved on Sept. 14, 2017.