The U.S. Women’s National Team earned a second consecutive 1-0 shutout win, this time against historic rival Norway, in front of 3,866 fans at Komplett Arena. Christen Press scored the lone goal in the 60th minute of the 50th match between the countries.
The win was the second on a two-game trip to Scandinavia. The U.S. roster was wracked by injuries to key players, both before and during the trip. In fact, Mallory Pugh, scheduled to start, suffered an injury in warmups before the Norway game. With that, her day was done before it started.
Even considering the missing players, the overall play, especially on the offensive end of the feel, was uninspiring, and coach Jill Ellis’ group had some difficulty stringing passes together and maintaining possession, particularly in the first half.
In a similar game to the clash with Sweden (also a 1-0 U.S. win) three days ago in Gothenburg, the USA started slow and weathered a strong Norway team before growing into the game and finding its groove in the second half. The USA had just two shots in the first half, but nine in the second as it dictated play for most of the second frame until Norway made a push for the unfulfilled equalizer at the end.
Norway created several early chances, particularly from proficient striker Ada Hegerberg, but the U.S. defense, led by captain Becky Sauerbrunn, stood tall while U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher put in another extremely tidy performanc to keep the ball out of the net. Norway registered just one shot on goal in the match, and it came late in the game. The USA scored its goal on its only shot on frame.
Similar to the winner against Sweden, the USA created the game-winning goal a few minutes into the second period when Sauerbrunn lofted a long pass from the USA’s defensive third over the Norway defense and to the streaking Press. Press did well to control the skidding ball, carried it into the left side of the box and quickly slotted it home with her left boot just past the foot of the charging goalkeeper.
Up Next: The U.S. WNT will now go into a break from National Team play and return to their NWSL clubs to resume the 2017 season on June 17. The USA will get together again in late July before kicking off the inaugural Tournament of Nations in Seattle on July 27 against Australia. The U.S. then travels to San Diego to face Brazil on July 31 and closes out the competition against Japan on Aug. 3 in Carson, California.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Christen Press (Becky Sauerbrunn), 60th minute: Becky Sauerbrunn lofted a ball from her defensive half over to the top of the Norway defense and into the 18-yard box. Christen Press received the pass, and ran into the left side and finished with a left-footed strike for her 42nd international goal. USA 1, NOR 0 FINAL
- Today’s match was the 50th between the two countries. The USA has now won the last six games, outscoring Norway 10-3. Only Canada and China PR have played the USA more times.
- The USA is 29-19-2 all-time against Norway and has scored 93 goals in the series while the Norwegians have scored 61, by far the most of any country against the USA.
- Christen Press and Becky Sauebrunn combined for today’s game-winning goal. The two were also in the starting lineup the last time the USA faced Norway at the 2015 Algarve Cup.
- Sauerbrunn captained the USA today. She made her seventh start, and played all 90 minutes. She remains the only player to have played all 630 minutes of the WNT’s 2017 schedule so far. She earned her 126th cap and her sixth career assist on the goal for Press. Sauerbrunn played pro briefly in Norway eight years ago.
- Alyssa Naeher made her 15th appearance for the USA and 14th start. She entered double digits in shutouts today, earning her 10th career clean sheet.
- Press made her fourth start and seventh appearance of the year. She has 42 international goals in 87 caps.
- Casey Short entered double digits in appearances, making 10th start in her 10th cap. In 2015, Short played club soccer in Norway for Avladsnes IL.
- Samantha Mewis made her 13th career start and earned her 24th cap. Alongside Sauerbrunn, she is the only other player to be in the starting lineup of every game the WNT has played in 2017.
- Abby Dahlkemper earned her first career start in her fourth cap. She played all 90 minutes for the USA today and made some crucial clearances during the match.
- Mallory Pugh, who was initially scheduled to start the game, hurt her ankle during pre-game warms-ups and had to be replaced in the starting lineup by Meghan Klingenberg.
– U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Norway Women’s National Team
Date: June 11, 2017
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Komplett Arena; Sandefjord, Norway
Kickoff: 7:15 p.m. local / 1:15 p.m. ET
Weather: 59 degrees; Cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
NOR 0 0 0
USA – Christen Press (Becky Sauerbrunn) 60th minute
USA : 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara (8-Julie Ertz, 83), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 14-Casey Short, 6-Abby Dahlkemper; 16-Rose Lavelle (10-Carli Lloyd, 86), 20-Allie Long, 3-Samantha Mewis, 7-Meghan Klingenberg (9-Lindsey Horan, 46); 19-Crystal Dunn, 23-Christen Press
Subs not used: 2-Sydney Leroux, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 18-Abby Smith
Not available: 22-Mallory Pugh
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
NOR : 1-Ingrid Hjelmseth; 6-Maren Mjelde (capt.), 11-Nora Holstad Berge, 2-Ingrid Wold, 8-Andrine Hegerberg (3-Maria Thorisdottir, 75), 19-Ingvild Isaksen (13-Guro Reiten, 82), 20-Emilie Haavi (17-Kristine Minde, 59), 28-Ingrid Marie Spord (21-Lisa-Marie Karlseng, 75), 9-Elise Thorsnes, 10-Caroline Hansen, 14-Ada Hegerberg
Subs not used : 7-Kristine Bjørdal Leine, 12-Cecilie Fiskerstrand, 16-Tuva Hansen, 22-Anja Sønstevold, 25-Synne Jensen
Head Coach: Martin Sjögren
Stats Summary: USA / NOR
Shots: 11 / 4
Shots on Goal: 1 / 1
Saves: 0 / 1
Corner Kicks: 4 / 6
Fouls: 6 / 9
Offside: 2 / 1
NOR – Ada Hegerberg (caution) 74th minute
Referee: Amy Fearn (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Vikki Anne Robertson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Kathleen Marie Alexander (SCO)
4th Official: Ingvild Aarland (NOR)