Dominant U.S. ease past Chile to book place in last 16

PARIS (Reuters) – Striker Carli Lloyd scored twice as the United States beat Chile 3-0 on Sunday, sending the current holders into the last 16 at the Women’s World Cup.

Soccer Football – Women’s World Cup – Group F – United States v Chile – Parc des Princes, Paris, France – June 16, 2019 Carli Lloyd of the U.S. celebrates with team mates after scoring their first goal REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Lloyd, one of the biggest names in the women’s game, became the first player to score in six consecutive World Cup matches but missed out on a hat-trick when she put a late penalty wide.

Chilean goalkeeper Christiane Endler won plaudits after pulling off several stunning saves to keep the score down.

The United States, who moved to the top of group F on goal difference with six points, joined Sweden in the knockout phase after they had earlier beaten Thailand 5-1 in the same group.

The U.S., coming off a record 13-0 win over Thailand in their Group F opener, were in control from the first minute and scored three first-half goals.

Lloyd put her team ahead in the 11th minute by smashing a half-volley into the net from just inside the box.

It followed an early onslaught that had already seen the U.S. miss several clear-cut chances, including Lloyd hitting the post from close range with Paris St Germain’s Endler reacting quickest to deny the veteran U.S. striker from the rebound.

U.S. midfielder Julie Ertz doubled the score on 26 minutes, flicking in a header from a corner and Lloyd, captain for the day, then powered home from another corner nine minutes later after easily losing her marker.

That took the 36-year-old Lloyd’s tally in the tournament to three, and 10 overall in World Cups.

The champions began the second-half in the same attacking vein but Endler made a string of saves, including acrobatically tipping over a Christen Press volley and then clawing away a point-blank header from the same player minutes later.

Lloyd almost had her hat-trick on 72 minutes, looping a header over Endler, but watched in despair as it bounced back off the bar.

She then had a golden chance to seal her hat-trick in the 81st minute after a pitchside VAR review saw a penalty awarded following a tug in the box, but she skewed it wide.

Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Ian Chadband

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