The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Nigeria 2-1 to extend the team’s home unbeaten streak to 71 matches. A Nigeria own goal in the first half and an acrobatic header from midfielder Rose Lavelle, which was assisted with class by forward Megan Rapinoe just seconds after she came off the bench, led the Americans to its thirteenth consecutive victory and second win over the Super Falcons in four days.
The U.S. threatened in the attack immediately as debutant midfielder Samantha Coffey intercepted a pass in the second minute and found forward Alex Morgan inside the box. Morgan turned toward goal and fired a shot on target, forcing a save from goalkeeper Chiamaka Nniadoze, who would go on to have a strong performance posting six saves on the night.
The USA dominated in possession and looked consistently dangerous as it strung together attacking plays through cohesive passing which demanded plenty of defending from the Nigerian back line which showed improvement from the previous outing on Sept. 3 in Kansas City. Following a handful of close chances, the USA opened the scoring after Nigeria defender Blessing Demehin attempted to clear a low cross from the left flank that was struck on the ground by forward Mallory Pugh, but she redirected ball into her own net.
Four minutes after coming into the match as a halftime substitute forward Uchenna Kanu equalized for the Super Falcons when she received a long ball that beat the U.S. back line. She dribbled into the left side of penalty area and finished with a quality shot into the upper right corner that was unsavable for U.S. goalkeeper Casey Murphy. The goal marked only the second that the USA has conceded in 2022 and ended the team’s nine-game shutout streak which lasted an impressive 880 minutes.
The 1-1 score line didn’t last long as Lavelle put the USA ahead in the 66th minute with a brilliant diving header following a precise cross from Rapinoe, who had come into the match as a substitute just over a minute earlier. It took Rapinoe exactly 73 seconds of action to create the assist, which was her second of the year and the 73rd of her international career, moving her into a tie with Abby Wambach for third on the USA’s all-time assist chart.
The USA did well to salt away the rest of the match with some quality possession while continuing to create scoring chances and remained unbeaten on the year at 13-0-1.
Following the win, the celebrations continued on the field with the official signing by the U.S. Soccer Federation, the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association and the U.S National Soccer Team Players Association of the historic, first-of-their-kind Collective Bargaining Agreements which achieved true equal pay between the USWNT and the USMNT, setting the global standard moving forward in international soccer. A large portion of the crowd of 18,869 stayed to watch the signing ceremony.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
USA – Blessing Demehin (Own Goal), 24th minute – Mallory Pugh received the ball on the left wing off a pass from defender Emily Fox and sent in a driven, low cross into the heart of the box aiming to meet Horan’s run. Demehin stretched to clear the pass to safety but accidentally knocked the ball into her own net to open the scoring. USA 1, NGA 0
NGA – Uchenna Kanu (Glory Ogbonna), 50th minute– Ogbonna played a long ball across the field to meet Kanu on the run. The halftime substitute settled the ball and dribbled into the left side of box before firing a right-footed into the upper right corner to equalize. USA 1, NGA 1
USA – Rose Lavelle (Megan Rapinoe), 66th minute – Following a quick attacking play up the middle of the field, Rapinoe received the ball on a run into the left side of the box, took a fantastic preparation touch and then chipped in a cross to Lavelle. She finished with a diving header – one in which she had to dive away from the goal to meet the ball – redirecting the ball from six yards out off the right post and over the goal line to regain a lead the USA would not relinquish. USA 2, NGA 1
USA PRESS RELEASE