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Women’s international friendly match recap: United States 4, México 0

A tough first half sees México fall yet again to their northern neighbors.

Soccer: 2021 U.S. Women’s National Team Send-off Series-Mexico at USA Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

An early flurry by the hosts put México down early and El Tri Femenil never recovered, losing 4-0 to the defending World Cup champions in East Hartford, Connecticut.

México started the game out on a good note, creating a counterattack in the third minute that resulted in a shot from Stephany Mayor. Mayor’s shot was well saved by Alyssa Naeher however, but México was able to maintain a decent amount of pressure in the offensive zone. In the fifth minute, Jocelyn Orejel got her head to a free kick, but it unfortunately went well high of the net. Then the US came down the field on a long ball forward to Carli Lloyd. Lloyd headed it on to Lindsey Horan, who finished with a strike past Itzel González to make it 1-0 for the hosts. Despite the pass looking like it was offside, the play was allowed to stand.

From that point on, México was back on their heels. Not five minutes later a defensive breakdown left Lloyd open in the box and she was able to make a diving header onto a Crystal Dunn pass to give the hosts a 2-0 lead.

The hosts looked to have scored again a minute later when a pass was threaded through the defense, but Christen Press was ruled to have been offside and her goal did not count. The hosts looked to be through again on goal in the 19th minute but Orejel hit an inch-perfect slide tackle to dislodge the ball from Tobin Heath, much to the dismay of the crowd. In the 21st Rose Lavelle knocked a set-piece on goal but Itzel González made a fantastic diving save to knock the ball out to safety.

María Sánchez had a good opportunity in the 27th minute on a free kick, but her shot went just over the bar. In the 35th, México had another counterattack on a poor giveaway at midfield. Kiana Palacios laid off a pass to Stephany Mayor, but her shot was easily stopped. Then at the other end, Tobin Heath hit a shot from distance that thundered off of the crossbar. Itzel González was able to get up and stop the shot on the rebound from Press, but it ricocheted off of defender Reyna Reyes and into the net.

Then in the 38th Sam Mewis found a wide open Heath, who shot back against the grain to make it 4-0.

The second half was much better for México, although it looked like the hosts had taken their foot off of the gas. María Sánchez was one of the bright spots for México, beating Kelly O’Hara along the right wing more often than not, however she was unable to get much of a linkage to the forwards. Itzel González was able to make several spectacular saves, and going forward it will be interesting to see if she or Emily Alvarado is considered México’s number one.

México stumbled badly in their two outings against the defending World Cup champions, and while this is a nascent project they were outscored in this two game series eight goals to none. There’s still a lot of work to be done.

United States: Alyssa Naeher; Crystal Dunn (Emily Sonnett, 67’), Becky Sauerbrunn, Abby Dahlkemper, Kelley O’Hara; Samantha Mewis (Catarina Macario, 67’), Lindsey Horan (Tierna Davidson, 79’), Rose Lavelle (Alex Morgan, 45’); Christen Press, Carli Lloyd (Megan Rapinoe, 45’), Tobin Heath (Kristie Mewis, 45’)

México: Itzel González; Jimena López, Jocelyn Orejel, Reyna Reyes (Bianca Sierra, 65’), Cristina Ferral (Karina Rodríguez, 57’); María Sánchez; Rebeca Bernal (Diana García, 87’), Nancy Antonio (Nicole Pérez, 87’); Stephany Mayor, Kiana Palacios (Katty Martínez, 65’), Alison González (Daniela Espinoza, 57’)

Scoring: United States - Lindsey Horan (6’), Carli Lloyd (11’), Reyna Reyes (37’ - autogol), Tobin Heath (39’); Máxico - None

Disciplinary: United States - None; México - Reyna Reyes (Yellow - 59’)