Carli Lloyd wasn’t thrilled to open the Women’s World Cup on the bench for the United States. She accepted the role, but made no secret she wanted to start.
When the call came Sunday, Lloyd made it count with two goals to lead the defending champions to a 3-0 victory over Chile in a Group F match in Paris. The win pushed the United States into the round of 16.
Lloyd was the star of the World Cup in Canada four years ago when she scored three goals in the final against Japan that gave the Americans their third World Cup title. She was on the bench when the U.S. opened this tournament, though she scored as a substitute in the 13-0 victory over Thailand.
“I know that my ability is there. I know this is my best version of me. I’ve just got to go out there and prove it,” Lloyd said. “Whether that’s coming off the bench and making an impact, whether that’s starting and getting the opportunity, which I’m grateful for, I’m just trying to make the most of it. I want to win.”
Lloyd became the first player to score in six straight World Cup matches when she connected in the 11th minute with an 18-yard shot that went just inside the post.
Julie Ertz, a Santa Clara alum, then gave the U.S. a 2-0 lead when she scored in the 26th minute on a header off a corner kick from Menlo Park native Tierna Davidson, a Stanford alum. It was Ertz’s first World Cup goal.
Photo: Alessandra Tarantino / Associated Press
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Lloyd then scored on another header off a corner by Davidson in the 35th for her 10th career World Cup goal, which moved her into third on the U.S. list behind Abby Wambach (14) and Michelle Akers (12). At 36, Lloyd became the oldest player to have a multigoal game in the tournament.
Lloyd nearly got a hat trick — which would have made her the first player with two in the World Cup — but her penalty kick in the 81st minute went wide left.
“It’s haunting me right now,” Lloyd said. “Wasn’t good enough.”
The score would have been worse for Chile were it not for goalkeeper Christiane Endler, who finished with six saves and kept the U.S. at bay in the second half.
Endler was named player of the match.
“I love the balls coming toward me and being able to showcase my skills,” she said through an interpreter. “Obviously, it’s difficult to maintain concentration. I think in the first half, it was difficult for me to get into the game. I think the second half went better for me and in general for the team.”
The United States plays Sweden on Thursday to wrap up the group stage.
Sweden 5, Thailand 1: In Nice, France, the Swedes scored twice in the first 20 minutes and were in control throughout the match as they qualified for the next round.
For Thailand, coming off the loss to the U.S., a goal by Kanjana Sungngoen in stoppage time provided relief.
“Everyone was very happy that we at least scored one,” Kanjana said through an interpreter. “The whole team is very glad.”
Japan, playing in Group D with England, also advanced to the knockout stage because both the United States and Sweden won.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Women-s-World-Cup-Carli-Lloyd-scores-two-goals-14001935.php.