The U.S. Women’s National Team returned to action on Thursday evening, scoring the lone tally of the match in the second half to defeat China PR, 1-0, in front of 13,230 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
Both teams got off to a slow start, creating various goal-scoring opportunities throughout the first half but neither side posing too much threat. China PR played a very defensive style, staying compact with numbers in their own half, while the USA struggled to find its rhythm, especially in the midfield.
The best scoring chance of the half came for China in the 34th minute of play off a quick counter attack, however, U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher was able to handle the shot with ease to keep the match scoreless.
The stalemate would finally be broken in the 57th minute. The U.S. was awarded a free kick from the right side of the field, and Megan Rapinoe sent a ball into the middle of the six-yard box right into the path of Alex Morgan. Morgan then headed the ball home to give the USA a 1-0 advantage.
The goal marked Morgan’s 86th international tally in her 141st cap, and her third consecutive game with a goal. She’s scored 13 goals over her last 14 WNT appearances, and six in 2018. Rapinoe recorded her team-leading sixth assist of the year.
The score would remain 1-0 at the final whistle as the U.S. WNT extended its record to 6-0-1 so far in 2018. Naeher earned her 15th career shutout in the victory.
The USA will return to action on June 12 for the second of two friendlies against China PR. The contest is scheduled to kickoff at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2 & UDN) at FirstEnergy Stadium.