Carli Lloyd scored twice, Christen Press added a goal and the United States held off Sweden 3-2 on Thursday night in Columbus, Ohio, 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 Hedvig 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. 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 multigoal games, has 120 international goals and leads the U.S. in scoring this year with 15.
But Sweden would not go quietly at Mapfre Stadium, with the No. 5 team in the world finally getting on the board in the 75th minute on Anna Anvegard’s right-foot shot from close range.
Anvegard scored her second goal three minutes later when goaltender Alyssa Naeher played a ball high in the box and was caught out of position on the score, leaving the net open for a right-footed shot from the center of the box.
Lloyd was primed to complete a hat trick with a penalty kick in the 81st minute, but it sailed high. The United States is ranked No. 1 in the world after winning its fourth World Cup this past summer in France, defeating Sweden in the group stage before taking out Spain, France, England and the Netherlands on its way to the championship.
Andonovski on Oct. 28 became the ninth U.S. coach after the retirement of Jill Ellis, whose 106 victories made her the winningest coach in U.S. women’s soccer history and the first international coach to win two Women’s World Cup titles.
A native of Macedonia, Andonovski played in Europe before an indoor soccer career in the United States. He coached in the National Women’s Soccer League for the past seven seasons, with FC Kansas City and Reign FC of Washington state.
The U.S. played without some of its most high-profile players, including Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan. Next up for the United States is Costa Rica on Sunday at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.
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