US Women dominate Korea, win 2-0

The U.S. Women’s National Team continued its 2019 Victory Tour presented by Allstate with a 2-0 win against Korea Republic before a state record crowd of 30,071 at Bank of American Stadium. Allie Long and Mallory Pugh both scored to deliver USWNT head coach Jill Ellis her 106th career win, moving her past the late great Tony DiCicco for the most victories in program history.

The USA was dangerous on the attack throughout the game, generating 19 shots (seven on target) but was unlucky to hit the woodwork on multiple occasions in both halves.

Julie Ertz was first to be denied by the woodwork, rifling a drive squarely off the left post early in the opening stanza before a defender was able to prevent her from finishing the rebound. Later in the first half, Pugh’s stinging, wide angle drive forced a fingertip save from Korea goalkeeper Kim Min-Jung, who pushed the shot onto the crossbar.

The U.S. offense broke through just before the stroke of halftime as Pugh drew a freekick on the right wing. Megan Rapinoe, playing in her first match for the USA since the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, bent the ensuing freekick behind the Korean defense for the crashing Long who volleyed home her eighth career goal and the 1-0 lead.

Long departed at halftime, making way for Christen Press who immediately created a quality chance that Carli Lloyd smashed off the bar as the U.S. set about building its lead.

Press was then denied on a breakaway chance — after a smart, quick throw-in by Rapinoe – when Min-Jung got a leg out in time to make a kick save. Moments later Press was put through on goal again by a sumptuous through-ball from Lloyd but put her shot off the left post after rounding the goalkeeper. Two follow-up attempts were cleared out of danger by defenders.

Fifteen minutes from time, Pugh capped off the scoring, heading in a Rapinoe corner kick to put the U.S. up 2-0. That score would stand up for the final result as the USA celebrated its 18th victory of the year.