Alex Morgan solved Mexico for two more goals Sunday. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
HOUSTON – Despite taking a 2-1 lead against the United States women’s national team, Mexico could not hold off the hosts, who registered a 6-2 triumph in an international friendly at BBVA Compass Stadium Sunday.
Megan Rapinoe, who scored one goal, set up four others, including a pair in the second half by Alex Morgan, in front of 15,349. Morgan tallied twice in the U.S.’s 4-1 win over the Mexicans in Jacksonville, Fla. Thursday night.
Carli Lloyd scored her 100th international goal, joining an elite club of six USWNT players who have reached the century mark. Mallory Pugh and Lindsey Horan also found the back of the net for the hosts.
Pugh scored her fifth goal of 2018 while Morgan scored her fourth and fifth and the duo of forwards are tied for the lead in WNT goals so far this year.
As in the first game of this two-game series, the U.S. got off to a quick start with Lloyd blasting a loose ball at the net from close range less than a minute into the match, but goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago made a brilliant reaction save.
It didn’t take long for the hosts to get on the board. Two minutes later Pugh ran onto a Rapinoe feed and rounded Santiago before rolling the ball into the open net.
Mexico climbed back into the game with two scores off Monica Ocampo corner kicks in the 17th and 24th minutes – the first one an Olimpico goal that flew directly into the net – to take a 2-1 edge.
The U.S. had an immediate response with Horan equalizing in the 25th minute off a powerful header from a corner kick. That set the stage for Lloyd’s 100th career goal as she headed home from close range to put the U.S. ahead, 3-2.
Just before the break, Morgan scored off a sliding shot inside the six-yard box from a low service from Rapinoe in the 44th minute to send the Americans into halftime with a 4-2 advantage.
In the second half, the U.S. added two more tallies with goals from Rapinoe in the 64th minute and Morgan four minutes later.
The U.S. players will return to their National Women’s Soccer League club to resume play. The U.S. will regroup in the summer for two friendlies against China PR June 7 (9 p.m. ET, FS1) in Sandy, Utah and June 12 (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2) in Cleveland, Ohio.
USA – Mallory Pugh (Megan Rapinoe) 3rd minute
MEX – Mónica Ocampo 17
MEX – Kiana Palacios (Mónica Ocampo) 24
USA – Lindsey Horan (Megan Rapinoe) 25
USA – Carli Lloyd (Alex Morgan) 34
USA – Alex Morgan (Megan Rapinoe) 44
USA – Megan Rapinoe 64
USA – Alex Morgan (Megan Rapinoe) 68
USA: 18-Jane Campbell (24-Ashlyn Harris, 67); 16-Emily Sonnett (14-Sofia Huerta, 75), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 17-Tierna Davidson (25-Hailie Mace, 59), 19-Crystal Dunn; 6-Morgan Brian (20-Allie Long, 29), 9-Lindsey Horan (26-Haley Hanson, 40), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 11-Mallory Pugh (27-Tegan McGrady, 58), 13-Alex Morgan, 15-Megan Rapinoe
Substitutes: 21-Savannah McCaskill
Head coach: Jill Ellis
MEX: 12-Cecilia Santiago; 2-Kenti Robles, 3-Bianca Sierra, 22-Greta Espinoza (5-Mónica Flores, 50), 23-Christina Murillo (13-Annia Mejía, 46); 6-Karla Nieto, 7-Cristina Ferral (4-Vanessa Flores, 79), 10-Stephany Mayor, 11-Mónica Ocampo (capt.) (17-María Sánchez, 60); 8-Ariana Calderón (9-Anisa Guajardo, 70), 18-Kiana Palacios (21-Renae Cuéllar, 74)
Substitutes: 1-Bianca Henninger, 14-Jocelyn Orejel, 16-Marcela Valera
Head coach: Roberto Medina
Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 18 / 6
Shots on Goal: 14 / 2
Saves: 0 / 8
Corner Kicks: 9 / 6
Fouls: 4 / 10
Offside: 1 / 2
Referee: Karen Abt (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Felisha Mariscal (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Deleana Quan (USA)
4th Official: Christina Unkel (USA)
Woman of the Match: Megan Rapinoe