Lloyd spurs U.S. women past Netherlands in friendly

Carli Lloyd (pictured) scored her 15th goal of the year in the USA's win over the Netherlands in an international friendly on September 18, 2016, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. (Photo: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com) 

ATLANTA, Georgia -- Carli Lloyd keyed a comeback, scoring one goal and setting up another to lead the United States women’s national team to a 3-1 win over the Netherlands in an international friendly at the Georgia Dome on Sunday night.

The victory improved the Americans to 18W-3D-0L this year.

Only two minutes after the opening whistle, the Netherlands struck on a counterattack. Dutch captain Mandy van den Berg lofted a long pass from just outside her own penalty area to midfield. The ball glanced off the head of U.S. defender, allowing Shanice van de Sanden to break down the middle of the field before beating goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher from 12-yards out.

Lloyd equalized in the 35th minute as the 2015 FIFA and CONCACAF Women's Player of the Year converted a Tobin Heath feed from eight yards past keeper Sari van Veenendaal for her 94th career goal in 230 appearances. She has netted 31 times scores in her last 32 internationals matches.

Five minutes into the second half, the U.S. took a 2-1 lead. Christen Press sent a low cross from the left side into the box. Heath and van den Berg got tangled up battling for possession. The Dutch defender fell to the ground and accidentally knocked the ball into her own goal.

Allie Long gave the Americans some breathing room in the 77th minute. Second-half sub Megan Rapinoe sent a right-sided cross to Lloyd at the top corner of the six-yard box. Lloyd headed the ball to Long, who headed it past the keeper from point-blank range for her third career goal.

Four minutes later, Naeher knocked away van de Sanden's try for her second goal for the Netherlands' lone corner kick.

The Americans next will face Switzerland in Sandy, Utah, on October 19 and in Minneapolis, Minnesota, four days later. 

International Friendly

September 18, 2016: Georgia Dome -- Atlanta, Georgia, USA (Att: 15,652)

USA-Netherlands 3-1 (1-1)

Carli Lloyd 35’; own-goal, Mandy van den Berg 50’; Allie Long 77’ / Shanice van de Sanden 2’ 

USA: Alyssa Naeher; Whitney Engen (Ali Krieger 37’), Becky Sauerbrunn, Julie Johnston (Emily Sonnett 46’), Meghan Klingenberg (Crystal Dunn 64’), Lindsey Horan (Megan Rapinoe 64’), Allie Long, Morgan Brian (Samantha Mewis 85’), Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan (Christen Press 46’). Head Coach: Jill Ellis 

Netherlands: Sari van Veenendaal; Desiree van Lunteren, Stefanie van der Gragt, Mandy van den Berg, Dominique Janssen, Anouk Dekker (Tessel Middag 85’), Danielle van de Donk, Sherida Spitse, Shanice van de Sanden (Lineth Beerensteyn 82’), Vivianne Miedema, Lieke Martens. Head Coach: Arjan van der Laan 

R: Crystal Sobers (Trinidad & Tobago); AR1: Stephanie Yeesing (Jamaica); AR2: Princess Brown (Jamaica); 4th: Cecile Hinds (Trinidad & Tobago)