Alex Morgan gave the U.S. a 2-0 lead. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Women’s National Team recorded a 3-1 win over the Korea Republic Thursday night at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in the first of two friendlies against its foes.
Julie Ertz, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe scored for the Americans.
The U.S. controlled the tempo from the opening whistle and out shot Korea Republic 11-3 in the first half while grabbing a 2-1 advantage before a crowd of 9,371.
Ertz and Morgan tallied their fourth and fifth goals of 2017, respectively.
In the 24th minute, Rapinoe’s corner kick from the left side was directed to the near post where the diving Ertz sent a low skidding header through the goalkeeper’s legs for the U.S. first goal.
In the 40th minute, Kelley O’Hara made a dribbling run into the penalty box on the right side, beating her defender to the end line before cutting a cross back for Morgan who held off a defender, spun toward goal, and finished with a left-footed shot. Morgan scored for the fourth consecutive match.
South Korea created its only shot on goal of the half five minutes into stoppage time with debutante Han Chaerin scoring on a 23-yard attempt out to pull her team within one.
The Korea goal came after referee had added three minutes of stoppage time, but added two more after Mallory Pugh went down with a hamstring injury at the end of the half.
The U.S. maintained its organized play on the field after the break and earned a penalty kick following a foul by Ji Soyun against Rapinoe in the 52nd minute. Rapinoe took the spot kick, scoring her third goal of the year.
The teams will meet in Cary, N.C. at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park Sunday at 2 p.m.
USA – Julie Ertz (Megan Rapinoe) 24th minute
USA – Alex Morgan (Kelley O’Hara) 40
KOR – HAN Chaerin 45 +5
USA – Megan Rapinoe (penalty kick) 52
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 14-Casey Short (11-Sofia Huerta, 63); 8-Julie Ertz, 6-Andi Sullivan (9-Lindsey Horan, 46), 3-Samantha Mewis (10-Carli Lloyd, 77); 2-Mallory Pugh (12-Lynn Williams, 45 +1), 13-Alex Morgan (23-Christen Press, 63), 15-Megan Rapinoe (19-Crystal Dunn, 63)
Subs not used: 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Jill Ellis
KOR: 1- KANG Gaae; 3-SHIN Damyeong (13-JI Sunmi, 45 +3), 17-JANG Seulgi; 6-PARK Chorong (2-LEE Eunmi, 83), 7-LEE Mina (15-LEE Sodam, 46), 8-CHO Sohyun (capt.), 16-CHOE Yuri (9-JEON Gaeul, 46), 19-KIM Hyeyeong (23-JANG Chang, 52), 22-HAN Chaerin; 10-JI Soyun, 12-YOO Younga (18-SON Hwayeon, 63)
Subs not used: 21-KIM Minjung; 20-KIM Hyeri, 4-SEO Hyunsook; 14- MOON Mira, 14-MOON Mira; 11-LEE Geummin
Head coach: YOON Dukyeo
Stats Summary: USA / KOR
Shots: 21 / 5
Shots on Goal: 11 / 1
Saves: 0 / 8
Corner Kicks: 5 / 0
Fouls: 6 / 14
Offside: 1 / 3
KOR – HAN Chaerin (Caution) 61st minute
KOR – PARK Chorong (Caution) 74
Referee: Christina Unkel (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Amanda Ross (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicholas Anderson (JAM)
4th Official: Cecile Hinds (TRI)
Woman of the Match: Julie Ertz