PARIS — The United States continued setting World Cup records when it took down Chile 3-0 Sunday afternoon.
During the first 35 minutes of the match, Carli Lloyd became the oldest player in World Cup history to score twice in a match, bringing the announced crowd of 45,594 to its feet at Parc des Princes. She also set a World Cup record for most consecutive games with a goal.
“I just want to win,” Lloyd said after the match.
With the win, the Americans clinched a spot in the knockout round of 16. They have one last group stage match Thursdy in Le Havre against rival Sweden. The outcome of that game will determine who finishes first and second in Group F.
The U.S. women’s national team, playing with a heavily-rotated lineup, scored three times in the first half, but did not quickly extend that lead in the second half like it did against Thailand. Chile goalkeeper Christiane Endler made save after applause-getting save to keep the margin of victory relatively narrow for teams ranked first and 39th in the world by FIFA.
“She’s a world-class goalkeeper and one of the best shot-stoppers I’ve ever seen,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said of Endler. “Total credit to Chile. Their spirit is magnificent. They battled hard tonight, and that goalkeeper — Endler always is going to keep that team in the mix.”
Lloyd also missed a penalty kick awarded after video review in the 80th minute. The veteran’s attempt rolled wide of the left post.
Chile did not threaten the U.S. goal often, but did have a goal negated by an offside call in the first half. The Americans controlled 68% of possession, outshot Chile 26-1 and had 15 corners compared to Chile’s 1.
Lloyd started the scoring when she controlled a deflected ball at the top of the box and rifled it into Chile’s net for a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute. Julie Ertz then made it 2-0 in minute 26 by getting the back of her head on the ball for a sharp, quick shot. And Lloyd’s record-setting brace was completed in the 35th minute, another header to make it 3-0.
“This is the best version of me that I’ve ever been playing in my career,” Lloyd said. “And whether you put me up top, whether you put me in the midfield, I can do it.”
Lloyd played in both of those positions Sunday, starting up top and then shifting back when Jessica McDonald came on for Ertz at halftime. She also captained a significantly different lineup than the Americans’ preferred starting XI.
Superstar forwards Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath and Megan Rapinoe all remained on the bench for the duration of the match. Tierna Davidson, 20, became the youngest player to start a Women’s World Cup match for the U.S. since Tiffany Roberts in 1995.
Ellis made a total of seven changes to team that beat Thailand 13-0 last week. She said the move helped build the players’ confidence and trust, get rid of butterflies and prepare them all for the challenging teams in the knockout stages that stand in the way of another World Cup title.
All 20 field players on the roster have now played World Cup minutes.
“We need everyone in order to win,” defender Ali Krieger said. “The quality that we have, the depth that we have, just proves we are the best team and we have the second best team in the world.”