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Pugh finds Morgan for late winner vs. France

Alex Morgan scored in stoppage time to give the United States a 1-0 win over France, the second win by that scoreline in as many matches in the inaugural edition of the SheBelieves Cup. Morgan ran onto a sweet pass from Mallory Pugh, took two touches, and beat French goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi. The United States will finish the tournament Wednesday night against Germany in a match that will determine the winner of the SheBelieves Cup.

The match was not without its anxious moments for the United States, who should have fallen behind on numerous occasions in the opening half. Ten minutes in, an uncharacteristic giveaway by Becky Sauerbrunn allowed France to set up a golden opportunity in front of goal. But Eugenie Le Sommer was unable to get clean contact on her finishing attempt, letting the U.S. off the hook without Hope Solo having to make a save.

In the 15th minute Carli Lloyd nearly scored an own goal trying to defend a cross. After her misclear rattled off the post Lloyd and another US defender failed to corral the rebound and Marie Laure Delie swooped in to finish it off. Only a remarkable, diving save by Solo kept it out and kept the match scoreless.

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The French also made an impression on two long free kicks. Louisa Necib found the upper 90, forcing Solo to tip it over and out. Later Amel Majri blasted one off the crossbar.

The best U.S. chance of the half came when Meghan Klingenberg played Alex Morgan through but the first touch was a bit heavy and threw off a good shooting angle. Morgan eventually did get off a shot but it went into the side of the net. A late first half cross by Kelley O’Hara to Mallory Pugh rolled just out of the reach of the 17-year old.

Despite neither team making any substitutions to open the second half the tide turned in favor of the United States. As the French defended a bit deeper the U.S. was able to begin playing with more possession. The pressure led to few quality chances though. Kelley O’Hara had one of the best, a cracking shot off a cleared corner kick that Bouhaddi was able to save with a clean catch.

The United States remained unbeaten in 2016 and still have not conceded a goal in their eight matches.


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