The USWNT fell to Spain 2-0 in the second international friendly of the team’s European tour. Played in front of 11,209 fans at El Sadar Stadium, the match set a record for the highest attended Spain Women’s National Team match played in Spain.
Report from USSoccer.com
Both teams were playing without a multitude of top players, the USA due to injuries and Spain due to the current turmoil within the National Team, but the Spaniards put on a good show for the home fans and the USA could not find a way through the five-back formation that Spain played on defense.
The first half was a narrow back-and-forth contest after an aggressive start from the USA. Despite a handful of quality runs of passing play to break the Spanish defensive lines, including a strong run out of the back from defender Carson Pickett and another dashing run from midfielder Rose Lavelle, the Americans were missing their finishing touch in the attacking third. Spain then scored the opening goal in the 39th minute after a corner kick resulted in chaos inside the USA box. The ball ultimately landed at the foot of defender and debutant Laia Codina, who finished from about seven yards to give the hosts the lead.
The second half was a similar story with the USA posting seven shots while Spain took four. Neither team landed a shot on target in the opening stages of the half until Spain made its first of the second stanza count in the 72nd minute. A buildup play up the along right flank concluded with a cross from midfielder Oihane Hernández to find forward Esther Gonzalez inside the box and she finished with a classy first-touch lob toward the back post from 12 yards out to double the lead.
The USA ended the match with nine shots but just two on target and one of its closest chances came in the 87th minute as forward 17-year-old Alyssa Thompson sent in a cross from the right wing which deflected off a defender towards goal. The ball dipped and bounced off the top of the crossbar and out for a goal kick.
Coming off a 2-1 loss to England at Wembley Stadium on Friday night, the result marked the first time since March of 2017 that the USWNT has lost back-to-back matches, and just the third such instance in the last 20 years. The two other consecutive defeats happened during the 2014 Algarve Cup, when the USA fell to Sweden and Denmark and the 2017 SheBelieves Cup which saw the USWNT lose to England and then France.
The USWNT will close out the 2022 campaign on home soil, hosting Germany during the November FIFA window. The teams will square off on Nov. 10 at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (7 p.m. ET on FS1) and then again on Nov. 13 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. (5 p.m. ET on ESPN) in a matchup between the top two teams in the FIFA Rankings. The USA is currently ranked No. 1 in the world while Germany, which defeated France 2-1 in its first match of this October international window, is ranked No. 2.
USA: 18-Casey Murphy; 5-Hailie Mace (8-Sofia Huerta, 62), 3-Alana Cook, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Capt.), 26-Caron Pickett (19-Crystal Dunn, 62); 17-Andi Sullivan (14-Sam Coffey, 62), 16-Rose Lavelle (13-Alyssa Thompson, 73), 10-Lindsey Horan; 6-Trinity Rodman (7-Ashley Hatch, 46), 11-Sophia Smith, 15-Megan Rapinoe (2-Ashley Sanchez, 64)
Substitutes not used: 1-Alyssa Naeher, 12-Naomi Girma, 20-Jaelin Howell, 21-Aubrey Kingsbury, 22-Kristie Mewis, 25-Savannah DeMelo
Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski
ESP: 23-Misa Rodriguez; 4-Rocío Gálvez, 5-Ivana Andrés, 17-Laia Codina, 2-Oihane Hernández, 19-Olga Carmona; 15-Maite Oroz (16-Ane Azkona, 90), 21-Claudia Zornoza, 6-Maitane López; 11-Alba Redondo (10-Athenea del Castillo, 57), 9-Esther González (Capt.) (18-Marta Cardona, 82)
Substitutes not used: 1-Sun Quiñones, 13-Enith Salon, 3-Teresa Abelleira, 7-Rosa Márquez, 8-Andea Falcón, 12-Lucía Rodríguez, 14-María Méndez, 20-Nuria Rábano, 22-Anna Torrodá
Head coach: Jorge Vilda Rodríguez