Record hat-trick of own goals leads USA to New Zealand 5-0

CARSON, Calif. – Meikayla Moore had a hat trick against the United States — own goals.

A perfect hat-trick entirely in the first half: left foot, right foot and header.

“She had a tough day at the office,” New Zealand coach Jitka Klimkova said after the USA’s 5-0 win in the SheBelieves Cup match on Sunday.

Ashley Hatch and Mallory Pugh scored second-half goals for the United States, who are preparing for World Cup qualifying in July. The Americans extended their unbeaten streak at home to 64 games, including seven draws.

Moore, a 25-year-old Liverpool defender, was on New Zealand’s 2015 World Cup roster but missed a game and then missed the 2019 World Cup with an injury to Achille. Making her 50th international appearance, she was substituted in the 40th minute.

The Americans had never before benefited from three own goals in a single game.

Sophia Smith crosses into the penalty area deflected Moore’s right leg and passed goalkeeper Erin Nayler in the fifth minuteending a 181-minute scoreless streak in the United States.

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Just 82 seconds later, Sofia Huerta’s pass to the center of the area blew Moore’s head off and in.

Then in the 36th minute, Margaret Purce’s cross hit Moore’s left leg from 4 yards out and beat Nayler. The United States had scored just two own goals twice, in an exhibition in February 2014 against Russia and New Zealand at the Olympics last July.

“Obviously she’s sad and disappointed, but she’s an amazing person and a player who belongs in this team,” Klimkova said. “We are all behind her at this difficult time for her.”

USA coach Vlatjko Andonovski said he thought Moore was in the right position to defend on all three own goals.

Alyssa Naeher made a save for the United States in her first match for a club or country since August 2, 2021, when she injured her right knee in the Olympic semi-final against Canada, the forcing him out of the game in the 30th minute.

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Naeher was one of six changes to Thursday’s starting lineup.

Andonovski evaluates young players in the four-team round robin. Stars Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press and Tobin Heath are not on the list.

“We are delighted with the victory. They needed to see goals and that’s good. We hope this is just the beginning,” Andonovski said. “I thought we were able to impose ourselves very early and set up a rhythm of pace that suits us.”

Hatch, who came on early in the second half, scored his third goal in the national team’s last three games in the 50th minute on a header from the center of Huerta’s penalty area.

“We’ve worked to get the ball to our outside backs and wingers and make sure we’re available in the box,” Hatch said. head. So good cross and easy finish.

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Pugh scored in stoppage time, split two defenders on a breakaway in the 93rd minute for his first international goal since October 3, 2019.

New Zealand’s best chance came in the 32nd minute when Olivia Chance’s shot from the penalty area went wide.

The tournament ends Wednesday in Frisco, Texas, with the United States taking on Iceland, while New Zealand takes on the Czechs.


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