The U.S. Women beat the Republic of Ireland 2-0 in the first of a pair of international friendlies as part of the final training camp for the USA before the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster is chosen later this summer.
USWNT Beat Republic Of Ireland 2-0 In Preparation For This Summer’s Women’s World Cup
Defender Emily Fox scored her first international goal while midfielder Lindsey Horan added another off a converted penalty to earn the win in front of an electric sellout crowd of 20,593 fans at Q2 Stadium.
Report from USSoccer.com
It was a physical match from the jump and the early part of the game was a chess match with both teams alternating in possession and most of the play taking place in the middle third as the USA tried to find ways to break the Irish down.
The USA posed its first threat in the eighth minute after a good run of controlled possession resulted in a cross by defender Crystal Dunn from the left side that met forward Sophia Smith inside the box. Smith, who made her first appearance of the year after recovering from a minor injury, stretched to connect with a shot but her attempt went just wide.
Ireland Come Close
Ireland came close to opening the scoring in the 19th minute after a corner kick led to a header at the back post, but forward Alex Morgan did well to deny the danger off the goal line and midfielder Rose Lavelle followed up with a clearance. Five minutes later, Ireland strung together a series of consecutive attacks that saw the USA put its defensive quality on display as the team denied several consecutive shots from close range.
The U.S. nearly scored in the 36th minute after Lavelle created space for herself near the end line on the left side and found Smith inside the box. Smith put a good strike on frame but Irish goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan came up with the save. One minute later, Fox collected the ball deep in the middle of the field off a pass from midfielder Andi Sullivan, took her space on the dribble and buried a low shot from outside the box into the lower left corner for her first career goal.
Just before the halftime break, forward Mallory Swanson was stretchered off the field after a hard tackle resulted in a left knee injury. She was replaced by Trinity Rodman.
The second half saw more aggression in the attack from both sides with the U.S. creating plenty of chances highlighted by close attempts from Rodman and Lavelle following some dynamic team builds-ups.
In the 67th minute, midfielder Julie Ertz came into the match for Sullivan, earning her first cap in 611 days and making her first appearance for the USWNT since the bronze medal match of the Tokyo Olympics. Ertz, who was recognized prior to the match for her 100th cap earned back in March of 2020, becomes the 15th woman to play for the USWNT after becoming a mother, having given birth to her son in August of 2022.
As the U.S. continued to pressure the Irish defense, Horan earned a penalty kick when she was dragged down inside the box while controlling a pass from Ertz with her back to goal. Horan stepped up to the spot and converted with a powerful strike to double the lead and seal the win.
Despite a close score line, the USA was dominant throughout, tallying 25 shots and six on target while limiting the Republic of Ireland to eight shots and one on target. The USA also controlled 70 percent of the possession and had 10 corner kicks to Ireland’s six.
The two teams will face off on Tuesday, April 11 at the brand new CITYPARK in St. Louis at 7:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. CT on HBO Max, Universo and Peacock. St. Louis native Becky Sauerbrunn will be honored in her hometown for her 200th camp, which she earned at the start of last year.
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 23-Emily Fox, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Capt.), 27-Naomi Girma, 19-Crystal Dunn (14-Emily Sonnett, 67); 17-Andi Sullivan (8-Julie Ertz, 67), 10-Lindsey Horan, 16-Rose Lavelle (2-Ashley Sanchez, 80); 11-Sophia Smith, 13-Alex Morgan (7-Ashley Hatch, 67), 9-Mallory Swanson (25-Trinity Rodman, 45+1)
Substitutes not used: 3-Sofia Huerta, 6-Lynn Williams, 15-Alana Cook, 18-Casey Murphy, 21-Adrianna Franch, 22-Kristie Mewis, 26-Taylor Kornieck
Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski
IRL: 1-Courtney Brosnan; 14-Heather Payne, 25-Aoife Mannion (8-Ruesha Littlejohn, 60), 4-Louise Quinn (Capt.), 7-Diane Caldwell, 11-Katie McCabe; 28-Sinead Farrelly (13-Áine O’Gorman, 60), 10-Denise O’Sullivan, 6-Megan Connolly, 24-Marissa Sheva (26-Tara O’Hanlon, 86); 22-Kyra Carusa
Substitutes not used: 16-Grace Moloney, 23-Megan Walsh, 2-Harriet Scott, 3-Jessie Stapleton, 5-Claire O’Riordan, 9-Amber Barrett, 12-Roma McLaughlin, 15-Lucy Quinn, 17-Jamie Finn, 19-Hayley Nolan, 20-Abbie Larkin, 21-Ciara Grant
Head coach: Vera Pauw