Tobin Heath, who scored a goal, makes some moves on Ireland defenders. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
PASADENA, Calif. – Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan and Carli Lloyd scored first-half goals to boost the U.S. women to a 3-0 win over the Republic of Ireland as it started its Victory Tour on a positive note at the Rose Bowl Saturday night.
Fresh from winning the Women’s World Cup in France, the match vs. Ireland was the USA’s first on home soil since claiming a fourth world title. The U.S. dominated possession throughout the match in front of 37,040 fans, attaining an 80-20 percent advantage while amassing a 30-2 shot advantage.
The U.S. wasted no time putting the screws to Ireland as Lloyd flashed a header wide and smashed a volley over the bar in the early going. With Crystal Dunn and Kelley O’Hara providing big threats down the flanks as the U.S. laid siege to the Ireland penalty area. Dunn saw a shot cleared off the line after a post-corner scrum.
Then the damn finally broke in the Americans’ favor.
In the 16th minute, Christen Press lifted a cross to the back right post for Heath to run under and head home.
Horan doubled the lead in the 31st minute, tapping in a low cross from Sam Mewis at the back left post before Lloyd sent a header arching over goalkeeper Marie Hourihan in the 41st minute
U.S. head coach Jill Ellis, who moved a step closer to becoming the USWNT’s winningest coach with the victory, made three substitutions at halftime bringing on Jessica McDonald for Heath, Emily Sonnett for O’Hara and swapped goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris for Alyssa Naeher in the U.S. net
The second 45 was nearly identical to the first with the USA controlling play and regularly creating goal-scoring opportunities as more WNT players joined the fray.
The USWNT players return to their National Women’s Soccer League clubs before the Victory Tour continues with stops in Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field Aug. 29 (7 p.m.; FS1) and Minneapolis-St. Paul at Allianz Field Sept. 3 (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2). Both matches will see the USA take on Portugal.