The United States women’s national team overcame an early deficit to defeat the Netherlands, 3-1, in a tight contest at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday night.
The Dutch proved to be a much sterner test for the Americans than Thailand was on Thursday, but were undone by an own goal to give the USWNT a 3-1 win. Shanice van der Sanden scored early for the the Netherlands while Carli Lloyd and Allie Long scored for the United States. Mandy van den Berg scored the decisive own goal.
The USA moved to 18-0-3 on the year and won both of their September friendlies. Carli Lloyd scored her 15th goal of 2016 to tie with Alex Morgan for the team lead and Lloyd collected her team-best 11th assist.
The Netherlands ran out to a shock 1-0 lead in Atlanta after a defensive miscue by the Americans. The Dutch cleared it from their own box and Becky Sauerbrunn mistimed her jump and headed the ball backwards over her own defensive line. Shanice van der Sanden ran onto the ball on the right hand side unmarked and raced 40 yards towards goal before firing into the left corner.
The USA recovered well from the setback and began to mount a series of attacks with the breakthrough coming in the 37th minute. Tobin Heath collected the ball on the right wing and incisively cut in, and picked out Carli Lloyd 16 yards out in the right corner of the box. Lloyd smashed a one-time strike at the near post past the Dutch keeper to tie the game at 1-1.
After halftime, the USA was ramping up the pressure but struggling to find the breakthrough. Fortunately, Mandy van den Berg turned the ball into her net in the 50th minute. Christen Press broke down the left side and fired a cross towards goal. Van den Berg stumbled near her own penalty box and her clearance was directed into her own net.
The Netherlands were difficult to crack and the Americans could not blow the game open for much of the second half. The game devolved into a nervy one-goal affair, although the Netherlands did not create any real chances.
The USA finally sealed the deal in the 78th minute after a goal from Allie Long. Megan Rapinoe curled one of her trademark balls from the right wing to the far post to Carli Lloyd. Lloyd knocked the ball down with a header back across the goal, and Allie Long bundled the ball in from the top of the six yard box to put the game away, 3-1.
The game was more difficult than the US bargained for, but their second half comeback was good enough for the win. Most of the Americans will return to the NWSL this week and many of them will participate in the playoffs before two friendlies against Switzerland in late October.