Veteran striker Carli Lloyd (middle in red jersey) bagged the 115th goal of her international career as the all-conquering United States beat Portugal 4-0 in the latest leg of their World Cup victory tour on Thursday. Photo bleacherreport.com
NEW YORK Veteran striker Carli Lloyd bagged the 115th goal of her international career as the all-conquering United States beat Portugal 4-0 in the latest leg of their World Cup victory tour on Thursday.
Philadelphia native Lloyd, 37, prodded home a close-range finish on 52 minutes to put the US 3-0 up before a record crowd of 49,504 fans at Lincoln Financial Field.
The attendance figure was the highest ever on US soil for a women's friendly international.
Lloyd, who had been handed the captain's armband for the night in front of her hometown crowd, celebrated by waving her arms in a gesture associated with the city' Philadelphia Eagles NFL team.
By the time Lloyd pounced for her goal -- tapping in at the far post after a clever flick-on of a Jess McDonald throw-in by Lindsay Horan -- the four-time world champions were already in total control.
Julie Ertz had helped set up the opener after just four minutes, releasing Christen Press down the left flank who crossed for Tobin Heath to finish.
Press then provided the assist for the second USA goal, swinging in an inviting corner which found an unmarked Morgan Brian whose downward header deceived Portugal goalkeeper Patricia Morais and bounced into the net.
Lloyd's goal early in the second half kept the party atmosphere bubbling away as the home fans celebrated.
Lloyd then turned provider to make it 4-0, crossing for Allie Long to score with a near-post header.
The five-game victory tour was arranged following the US women's successful defence of their World Cup crown in France last month.
The US face Portugal in a second game in Saint Paul, Minnesota, next Tuesday before completing the series with back-to-back games against South Korea on October 3 and 10.
The games mark the final weeks of US coach Jill Ellis's reign in charge of the team. Ellis will step down in October as the only female coach to win back-to-back World Cups.
The tour is also taking place against a backdrop of tension between the US women's team and the United States Soccer Federation.
The US women are suing the federation for gender discrimination, alleging unequal pay and working conditions.
The case is due to go to trial in May 2020. AFP