Carli Lloyd (#10) in action against New Zealand during a friendly on October 27, 2013, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo: Michael Pimentel/isiphotos.com )
SAN FRANCISCO – The United States scored three first-half goals en route to a 4-1 win over New Zealand on Sunday in a women’s friendly at Candlestick Park. A crowd of 16,315 witnessed the first-ever women’s sporting event in the famed stadium.
Four different players got their name on the scoresheet for the host, who remain unbeaten in 2013 with a 12-2-0 record.
In her first national team appearance since June 20, Megan Rapinoe put the Americans ahead in the seventh minute with a 23-yard free kick that landed just inside the left near post. It was the 23rd career international goal for the Lyon midfielder.
Five minutes later, the U.S. doubled its lead through Carli Lloyd. After intercepting the ball, she dribbled into the right side of the penalty area and beat New Zealand goalkeeper Erin Nayler at the near post. With that goal, her 46th, the midfielder passed Julie Foudy on the USA’s all-time scoring list.
Four minutes before the break, the U.S. made it 3-0. Christen Press struck a loose ball, following a neat interchange with Heather O’Reilly, past Nayler for her eighth goal of the year.
Hannah Wilkinson pulled one back for the visitors, netting New Zealand’s only goal in the 54th minute and snapping USA’s shutout streak at 387 minutes.
O’Reilly scored her first goal of 2013 in the 87th minute to restore the three-goal cushion with a curling left-footed effort that found inside of the far left post.
The U.S. and New Zealand will meet again on Wednesday, at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.