September 17, (THEWILL) – The world’s number one female team, the United States Women’s National Team, showed their quality when they took on Paraguay in an international friendly that ended 9-0, with USWNT legend Carli Lloyd scoring five and tying the single-game record by a U.S. player.
It is understating the fact to say the pairing at the TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio was a heavy mismatch, especially as Paraguay are ranked number 50 in female football. It was clear when Lloyd scored a brace in the first six minutes of the game that it was not going to end well for the Paraguayans.
In the end, Lloyd finished with five goals, which was a personal best for her and took her career total to 133 career international goals and fourth on the all-time women’s scoring chart.
As THEWILL reported, Lloyd had publicly stated her desire to hang her boots at the end of the team’s four-match post-Olympic tour and the tie against Paraguay was the first of those four contests since that announcement.
The 39-year-old played the full 90 minutes and had four of her five goals in the space of 38 first-half minutes. After her first two goals, from a corner kick header and an easy finish alone in front of goal, Andi Sullivan, who played in the deep central midfield position, scored her first of two on the night, both off set pieces.
In her post-match comments, Lloyd said: “It was fun. I’m just trying to savor it. I want time to go slower. One game is down and I have three left. I was feeling a little uncomfortable that I had all the goals on the team. I said someone else needs to score.”
Asked if she was aware of the single-game record for a U.S. player, she replied: “One of the coaches did mention it as we went back on after halftime. I was just having fun out there and I didn’t want to lose the ball.”
The rest of the team jostled for goals too as Lynn Williams and her substitute, Tobin Heath, rounded out the scoring with blasts that overpowered the Paraguayan ‘keeper, 27-year-old Cristina Recalde.
Although Lloyd’s standout performance and consistency were the highlight of the tie, other players in the squad demonstrated a willingness to stake their claims to be part of the team’s plans for the 2023 World Cup.
Of significant importance were the displays of Mallory Pugh, Andi Sullivan and Lynn Williams, who were not only on the scoresheet for the game but looked particularly bright each time they were in possession of the ball.
Regional qualifying for the 2023 World will begin in July 2022.
The USWNT will play Paraguay again on Wednesday, followed by a double header against South Korea in October, on the 22nd and 27th.