Julie Ertz and her teammates celebrate her first-half goal. (USA Today Photo – Michael Chow)
By Michael Lewis
PARIS — Send in the A team. Send in the B team. Send in the C team.
It doesn’t matter with the U.S. national team at this Women’s World Cup.
The Americans recorded their second consecutive win and Group F shutout, defeating Chile with relative ease, 3-0, while using essentially their second team before a sold-out crowd at Parc des Princes.
The victory lifted the defending champions into the second round.
Carli Lloyd, who tallied the final goal of the 13-0 rout of Thailand last Tuesday, bagged a brace as she became the first man or woman to score in six consecutive World Cup matches.
Only a stellar performance by Chilean captain and goalkeeper Christiane Endler, who plays for local side Paris St-Germain, kept the score from getting further out of hand.
The result will set up a group-stage finale and confrontation against Sweden (2-0-0, 6), which defeat Thailand Sunday, 5-1, in Le Havre Thursday. The USA needs only a draw to win the group.
USA head coach Jill Ellis made massive changes from the 13-0 triumph over Thailand as only four players wound up in the Starting XI in Sunday’s game — goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, center back Abby Dahlkemper and midfielders Julie Ertz and Lindsey Horan.
It took only 11 minutes before the U.S. celebrated its first goal, taking advantage of a poor clearance by defender Su Helen Galaz. The ball went to a charging Lloyd, who fired a shot from atop of the middle of the penalty area past Endler for a 1-0 lead.
It was the sixth consecutive match that Lloyd scored a WWC goal, including the final four games at Canada 2015.
With Chile having all sorts of problems moving the ball out of its defensive end, Julie Ertz struck to double the advantage with a nifty header off a Tierna Davidson corner kick with her back to the goal at the edge of the goalkeepers’ box in the 26th minute.
Nine minutes later, Lloyd made it a deuce as she headed home another Davidson corner kick from seven yards one bounce into the left corner of the net for a 3-0 margin.
Lloyd missed a penlaty kick in the 81st minute, sending her shot wide left of the net.
Northport, N.Y. native Allie Long made her WWC debut in the 59th minute, replacing Horan at midfield. Defender Emily Sonnett replaced Dahlkemper late in the match as every U.S. field player was used in the team’s opening two matches.
Rockville Centre, N.Y. native Crystal Dunn, who played the entire way in the opening match, sat the bench in this one.