Scoring the first, creating the second. A phenomenal piece of individual brilliance from United States midfielder Christian Press made the difference as United State secured a comfortable 2-0 victory over Nigeria in the last encounter of the US Summer Series.
The Manchester United forward was at her best. While US full dominance in the first 45minutes produced only a shot on goal, the creative midfielder was right on spot to convert her first sight on goal with time added on in the opening half. A sloppy defending from Nigeria — who have been solid at the back line — resulted in Calli Lloyd snatching the ball from Ogbonna to tee up Christian Press who sent her curler to the far post to give USA the reward for their domineering performance in the first half.
Scoring the 61st goal for her country in a contest against Nigeria can be more inspiring than ever and as such, she was bent to do more. Thus, deep into stoppage time at the nineties, Nigeria’s last ditch attack in search for an equaliser turned into a catastrophe as United States women claiming the ball, converted it into a counter attack with Christian Press releasing L. Williams on a run in the opponent half. Calm and composed, Williams rounded the goalkeeper Oluehi to slot home the second goal of the night into an empty net.
United States were the pace setters from the onset. Exhibiting superiority over the Super Falcons while restricting them to defensive duties all through the nineties. No surprise Nigeria were blunt in attack as they had only one accurate attempt on goal to their name in the game. United States, employing the pace and versatility embedded in their team stretched out the Super Falcons in order to catch their defense cold. But a more compact Nigerian defense mitigated their threat not until the 47th minute before the US got their way past, much thanks to Christian Press and Calli Lloyd beautiful link up play.
No much talking point in a game characterized by caginess as both teams played with consciousness, in meticulous manner with Nigeria restricting the world champion only to the option of playing pacy football.
In a fast switch of play just about the half hour mark, a lofted ball into the area by United State L. Horan to Raphinoe saw the winger head the ball into the path of Calli Lloyd in the 6-yard box only for the advancing goalkeeper Oluehi to collide with Lloyd — a collision that resulted into the keeper’s struggle for balance throughout the game.
But it ended at Austin stadium in favour of United States as they clinch a flawless start in the US Summer Series and also stretching their win over Nigeria to six times and maintaining their 100 percent record against an African team after they have succeeded in eight encounters against an African team.