The U.S. women’s national team ended its five-match winless streak with a 1-0 win over England, and it was Alex Morgan with the match-claiming honors at Milton Keynes.
In the 25th minute, Lauren Holiday took advantage of space on the wing to send in a cross, and the former University of California-Berkley standout buried the header on the doorstep for the significant goal.
According to the Associated Press, the USWNT hadn’t scored in 217 minutes until the Morgan’s score, which met a certain benchmark among elite United States women:
Morgan got her 50th goal in 79 international appearances, becoming the third-fastest American woman to reach the mark behind Michelle Akers (49 games) and Abby Wambach (64).
However, individual accolades do not define a team, and overall, the Americans did not show the high-caliber style of soccer they need at the 2015 World Cup.
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Jill Ellis’ side dominated possession and controlled the pace of play in this competition, but the United States had trouble effectively stringing together passes from high to low areas.
England was the inferior opponent, but the chance to produce an favorable result was present when England striker Jodie Taylor should have leveled the match at 1-1 in the second half.
Her converted strike was cancelled out due to a highly-controversial offside call.
Minutes later, Holiday blasted a long-range attempt but goalkeeper Karen Bardsley sat in correct position for the unruffled save.
Shortly after, midfielder-defender Ali Krieger then gathered a quick pass from veteran Abby Wambach and tried a shot on frame. Once again, Bardsley was there to thwart the danger.
The U.S. were without longtime goalkeeper Hopo Solo due to her 30-day suspension imposed last month.