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2021 USWNT Friendly: USA 2-0 Nigeria - A tough but deserved result

Q2 Stadium opens with a win

Nigeria v United States - 2021 WNT Summer Series Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images

The USWNT continued its tour of Texas as the team finished up its June friendlies in Austin. Befitting the state, the side debuted its naval camo kits as the Dazzle unis made their first appearance in 2021. In fact, matching up against Nigeria, it might have been one of the strongest jersey matchups in international soccer ever.

The Stars and Incongruent Stripes came out in a 4-3-3 with both the Mewii on the field along with Carli Lloyd getting her 300th cap.

Nigeria lined up in a 4-4-2 that shifted into a very effective five defender formation without possession.

In the end, Nigeria gave the Americans a tough game in keeping with the last two meetings between these teams that each ended 1-0 for the USA. The Super Eagles were physical and unintimidated by the team in Dazzle camo, keeping a compact and organized backline that did well to contain the American attack. In possession, they moved th eball quickly forward trying to get forwards Asisat Oshoala of Barcelona or Francisca Ordega, formerly of the Washington Spirit.

It seemed like the teams would go into the half deadlocked at nil-nil, but Christen Press hit a one-timer into the Nigeria net all the way from Arlen.

Up until then, Nigeria’s backline had held strong, however the team lost possession in its own defensive third and couldn’t regain its shape before Carli Lloyd and Press caused some havoc.

The second half started with no chances, but by the 53rd minute, Carli Lloyd made way for Alex Morgan. A few minutes later during an injury break for Nigeria keeper Tochukwu Oluehi, Caterina Macario entered for Sam Mewis and Emily Sonnet came on in place of Kristie Mewis.

As the second half wore down, the US began making more progress at breaking down the Nigeria defense forcing Oluehi to make a big save. A new slate of subs for the US came on as Megan Rapinoe came off for Lynn Williams and Crystal Dunn made way for Tierna Davidson.

Williams would prove to be a difference maker as the forward got on the end of a clearance from the US half and rounded the Nigeria netminder for the second goal of the game.

Some thoughts

  • Nigeria is a good test for the USA, their defensive organization disrupted the timing and effectiveness of the attack as runs in behind were called offside if not timed perfectly. This is in contrast to other teams who look to play the USA tough by... kicking them in the ankles.
  • The backline for the Americans was equally as impressive. Nigeria had few decent chances on goal and never seemed to really be in position to find a goal in the match.