Chile, which will be a World Cup debutant in 2019, proved no match for reigning World Cup champion USA, which cruised to a 3-0 win on Friday evening. The USA faces Chile again in San Jose on Tuesday, part of Coach Jill Ellis' team's preparation for the Concacaf World Cup qualifying tournament in October.
1. The scoreline hardly reflected the USA's dominance
The Chileans rarely entered the U.S. half while getting out-shot 24-1 Their 6-foot goalkeeper Christiane Endler made some excellent saves, a bad referee's decision, and the lack of goal-line technology denied the USA of two more goals.
Near the end of the first half, Christen Press buried a penalty kick after Tobin Heath was pulled down by the shorts by defender Fernanda Pinilla. A player from each team encroached, which should have required a re-take. But referee Katja Koroleva (recently named to referee at the Under-17 Women's World Cup) simply denied the goal.
In the second half, halftime sub Carli Lloyd blasted a shot off the underside of the crossbar but the officials failed to see that it cleared the goal line before it bounced back into play.
The first-half midfield of Rose Lavelle, Julie Ertz and Lindsey Horan played such that the U.S. backline could have watched the game in lawn chairs.
2. Tierna Davidson scores her first goal
Coach Ellis made only one change for the starting lineup of the USA's last outing, a 4-1 win over Brazil Aug. 2 -- Press replacing injured (rib) winger Megan Rapinoe on the front line, which was spearheaded by Alex Morgan and featured the dynamic Heath on the other wing.
For 19-year-old central defender Tierna Davidson, it marked her 11th start for the USA. She had little do in her half of the field, but scored in the eighth minute with a header off Heath's corner kick. The goal was extra sweet for the 19-year-old Stanford junior, who had scored an own goal against Brazil.
The early strike seemed to suck the confidence out of the Chilean team, which had qualified for its first World Cup by finishing runner-up to Brazil on home soil in the 2018 Copa America Femenina. Chile's roster has 13-foreign-based players, including 10 in Spain. Endler joined Paris St. Germain after starring at the University of South Florida and stints with Chelsea and Valencia.
Endler stayed on her line when Davidson headed in the first goal and was again victim to a corner kick on the second goal, when her defender Carla Guerrero knocked Julie Ertz's header over the goal line.
But getting only two goals from 17 corner kicks will have Ellis thinking about varying the delivery.3. Mallory Pugh is back
Missing in USA action since April because of a knee injury, Mallory Pugh came on at halftime for her first appearance since turning 20. Pugh looked sharp on the right wing, and in the 59th minute set up the third goal. Her sixth assist, to go with 11 goals, in 36 U.S. games was a perfectly delivered low ball across the goal area that Press hammered home after Lloyd barely missed a tap-in on the slide.
Pugh was one of four halftime subs along with Lloyd, McCall Zerboni and Morgan Brian. The changes had no effect on the USA's dominance as the 36-year-old Lloyd threatened constantly while Brian marshaled the midfield adeptly, and delivered a fine through ball to Pugh before she set up Press's goal.
• The USA is now unbeaten (10-0-2) in 2018 and stretched its undefeated streak to 20 games.
NOTABLE: The game marked a homecoming for Christen Press, who grew up 20 miles away from the stadium and had more than 70 friends and family in attendance. The occasion was used to honor her 100th cap, which she picked up in June against China. Friday's game marked Press' 104th U.S. appearance.
TRIVIA: The USA has never lost a game in California.
Aug. 31 in Carson, Calif.
USA 3 Chile 0. Goals: Goals: Davidson 8, own goal (Guerrero) 31, Press 59.
USA -- Naeher, Sonnett, Sauerbrunn, Davidson, Dunn (Mewis, 61), Lavelle (Brian, 46), Ertz (Mace, 74), Horan (Zerboni, 46), Press, Morgan (Lloyd, 46), Heath (Pugh, 46).
Chile -- Endler, Leyton, Suez, Guerrero, Pinilla (R.Soto, 46), Lara, Araya (G.Soto, 69), Lopez, Rojas (Zamora, 46), Santibanez (Urrutia, 61), Aedo.
Yellow cards: USA -- Heath 38; Chile -- Urrutia 74, R.Soto 80.
Referee: Katja Koroleva (USA),
Stats USA / Chile
Shots: 24 / 1
Shots on Goal: 11 / 1
Saves: 1 / 9
Corner Kicks: 17 / 1
Fouls: 10 / 10
Offside: 2 / 0