The USWNT defeated South Korea Thursday night in New Orleans 3-1 after jumping out to a two goal lead on goals from the team’s two hottest players.
Defensive midfielder Julie Ertz notched her fourth goal in five games when she launched herself headlong at Megan Rapinoe’s corner kick, nutmegging Korean keeper Kang Gaae with her diving header.
It was a brilliant goal from the effervescent Ertz, who took another step forward in her quest to nail down the d-mid spot. The goal came after South Korea had come close to opening the scoring only to be repelled by some good last ditch defending by Kelly O’Hara, among others.
The second U.S. goal came in the 40th minute and it extended Morgan’s consecutive scoring streak to four games.It was a fine finish from Morgan, who was well set up by O’Hara, Mal Pugh and Sam Mewis.
Pugh limped off not long after, helped off the pitch after grabbing her hamstring. The Yanks looked set to runaway with the match until debutante Han Chaerin blasted home a brilliant effort from just outside the 18 yard box five minutes into first half stoppage time.
The U.S. came out buzzing after the break with Rapinoe winning a penalty kick in the 52nd minute. Pinoe stepped up to the spot and put the ball in the back of the net to set the home team up for the win.
These same two sides meet again in Cary, North Carolina on Oct. 22 (2 p.m. ET; ESPN) at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 1 3
KOR 1 0 1
USA – Julie Ertz (Megan Rapinoe) 24th minute
USA – Alex Morgan (Kelley O’Hara) 40
KOR – HAN Chaerin 45 +5
USA – Megan Rapinoe (penalty kick) 52
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 14-Casey Short (11-Sofia Huerta, 63); 8-Julie Ertz, 6-Andi Sullivan (9-Lindsey Horan, 46), 3-Samantha Mewis (10-Carli Lloyd, 77); 2-Mallory Pugh (12-Lynn Williams, 45 +1), 13-Alex Morgan (23-Christen Press, 63), 15-Megan Rapinoe (19-Crystal Dunn, 63)
Subs not used: 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Jill Ellis
KOR: 1- KANG Gaae; 3-SHIN Damyeong (13-JI Sunmi, 45 +3), 17-JANG Seulgi; 6-PARK Chorong (2-LEE Eunmi, 83), 7-LEE Mina (15-LEE Sodam, 46), 8-CHO Sohyun (capt.), 16-CHOE Yuri (9-JEON Gaeul, 46), 19-KIM Hyeyeong (23-JANG Chang, 52), 22-HAN Chaerin; 10-JI Soyun, 12-YOO Younga (18-SON Hwayeon, 63)
Subs not used: 21-KIM Minjung; 20-KIM Hyeri, 4-SEO Hyunsook; 14-MOON Mira, 14-MOON Mira; 11-LEE Geummin
Head coach: YOON Dukyeo
Stats Summary: USA / KOR
Shots: 21 / 5
Shots on Goal: 11 / 1
Saves: 0 / 8
Corner Kicks: 5 / 0
Fouls: 6 / 14
Offside: 1 / 3
KOR – HAN Chaerin (Caution) 61st minute
KOR – PARK Chorong (Caution) 74