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Sam Mewis’ brace lifts USWNT past South Africa

Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer

Sam Mewis started and scored twice in the United States women’s national team‘s 3-0 victory over South Africa on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Mewis earned her third start of the year in midfield as Lindsey Horan sat out with a minor injury. Mewis opened the scoring in the 37th minute, turning her defender at the top of the 18-yard box and slotting the ball into the lower corner after receiving an entry pass from Rose Lavelle.

Lavelle and Mewis proved bright spots in the middle of the park for the Americans, who were otherwise slow to break down a disciplined South African team which sat five players in the midfield.

But Mewis broke through to double the U.S.’ lead in the 78th minute,  getting on the end of halftime substitute Megan Rapinoe’s cross after Rapinoe’s quickly-taken free kick put the ball back in play.

Carli Lloyd, who entered the match in the 60th minute, added a third goal for the U.S. in stoppage time.

Christen Press started on the wing opposite Tobin Heath, in place of Rapinoe, who has been working her way back from a right calf strain.

The meeting was just the second ever between the two countries. The U.S. defeated South Africa, 1-0 in 2016, prior to each team’s trip to the Rio Olympics. South Africa will make their World Cup debut next month.

Two official matches remain for the U.S. before their World Cup opener against Thailand on June 11. The Americans host New Zealand on Thursday in St. Louis, Missouri, before playing their send-off match against Mexico on May 26 in Harrison, New Jersey.

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