It was hardly elegant, but the U.S. women’s National Team finished an undefeated 2018 with a tough, 1-0 victory over Scotland at The Simple Digital Arena in the Glasgow suburb of Paisley on Tuesday.
The first half saw Scotland press the U.S. over and over and with the best of play in the first half-hour. But the Americans found their footing and started creating better chances toward the end of the half. In the 39th minute, Mallory Pugh sent a long cross from the right side that went over the head of Carli Lloyd and onto the right foot of a rushing Alex Morgan (pictured), who volleyed it into the net for a 1-0 lead.
That was the 98th goal for Morgan for the U.S. National team and 25 in her last 26 games for the U.S. She sits seventh on the U.S. all-time goal-scoring list.
In the second half, the U.S. had some good runs into the Scotland end and earned a penalty shot in the 62nd minute when Mallory Pugh was tripped in the box. But Lloyd hammered her shot off the crossbar and the game remained 1-0.
American keeper Ashlyn Harris was sharp in her key test in the 81st minute, as Lana Clelland looked for the equalizer on a ball into the box, but Harris punched it away and got credit for her sixth career shutout for the national squad.
The U.S. is now 25-0-3 since its 1-0 loss to Australia in mid-2017 and has outscored its opponents by 93-17 in those games, and 18-0-2 in 2018 with a 65-10 goals-against differential. The U.S. has also not been scored on in 884 minutes, dating back to the 4-1 win vs. Brazil in the Tournament of Nations in early August.
The U.S. women have already schedule the first match of 2018 – with a clear eye on the 2019 World Cup – against France in Le Havre (FRA) on 19 January.