As the U.S. women’s national team gears up for its run to reclaim the gold medal at the Tokyo Games, the team got all it could handle from Portugal in an international friendly on Thursday night in Houston.
After dominating possession for over an hour and generating dozens of fruitless chances, the USWNT finally broke through in the late stages en route to a 1-0 win.
Sam Mewis scored off a header in the 76th minute on an assist from Christen Press, finally capitalizing on the many chances the team was able to generate all night. It was Mewis’s fourth goal of the year. The win extends the team’s home winning streak to 16 games and its overall unbeaten streak to 40.
For the USWNT, the goal surely alleviated frustration after a night full of scoring chances. The Americans held a 26-4 advantage on shot attempts and had 10 shots on goal compared to Portugal’s one. Among the best opportunities in the first half came in the 34th minute, when Press nearly volleyed a deflection and converted it for a goal.
The United States also held a 15-1 advantage on corner kicks. Portugal goalkeeper Inês Pereira shined all night, making nine saves and keeping the game deadlocked at 0-0 for most of the way.
The USWNT will play next on Sunday against Jamaica in Houston, followed by a matchup with Nigeria in Austin on Wednesday for its final Olympics tune-up. The Games are slated to begin on July 23. The USWNT won gold in 2004, 2008 and 2012 but was eliminated in 2016 in the quarterfinals by eventual runner-up Sweden.
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