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Sweden defender Nathalie Bjorn, top, tries to pass the ball against United States forward Carli Lloyd.


Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — New coach. Same result.

Carli Lloyd scored twice, Christen Press added a goal and the United States held off Sweden 3-2 on Thursday night at Mapfre Stadium, giving Vlatko Andonovski a victory in his first match as head coach.

The U.S. is 19-1-3 in 2019 and has a 22-match unbeaten streak.

The U.S. dominated early in the friendly, as Lloyd took a pass in the sixth minute from Christen Press with a right-footed shot from the center of the box and put it past goalkeeper Hedviq Lindahl to the bottom right corner.

Press followed in the 28th minute, faking out a pair of defenders with fancy footwork and burying a ball from Lindsey Horan for her 50th goal in international competition. Press is just the 11th American to reach that milestone.

“We knew what we wanted to do, and I think we did a good job controlling the game defensively,” Andonovski said. “The only thing I thought we could do better, and we did it in the second half, is push the block a little bit higher from the middle to the high block. We were successful when we did that. Obviously, it will just take a little bit of time to adjust the timing, the angle and the approach to all the players.”

Three minutes later, Lloyd found the back of the net again with a right-footed shot just inside the box, off a chip pass from Tobin Heath.

Lloyd, who has 22 multi-goal games, has 120 international goals and leads the U.S. in scoring this year with 15.

“For me, it’s going out and trying to be better than I was the game before, help the team and implementing the philosophy that Vlatko wants,” Lloyd said. “Goals come when you are really not seeking goals. If you go out and give 100% effort, some good things usually happen.

“I’m really proud of the team. There was some fabulous stuff out there. There was also some stuff will need to work on. Overall it was a good game.”


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