Opponent Watch: Chile's big battles with the USA

There’s just a couple of months until the Westfield Matildas will be back in action on home soil with two matches against Chile in November.

Both nations will use the two-game friendly series in Penrith and Newcastle as preparation for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, with the South Americans qualifying for the tournament for the first time in their history.

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But Chile has already started ramping up their road to France, with two games against world no.1 USA over the last week.

How have they fared?

It was a historic night at the StubHub Centre in California last Saturday (AEST) as Chile and the USA met for the first time at senior international level.

More than 23,000 fans were in attendance as the hosts showed their class in an excellent display as they ran out 3-0 winners.

But it was Chile’s captain and goalkeeper Christiane Endler  - who plays for PSG in France – who caught the eye, making a number of excellent saves throughout the 90 minutes.

In the end, it was goals to Tierna Davidson and Christen Press – either side of a Carla Guerrero own goal which separated the two teams.

The two-game series was concluded on Wednesday (AEST), with the USA again proving to be comfortable winners at the Avaya Stadium in San Jose.

While the match ended 4-0, the Americans were made to work hard for their goals in front of more than 14,000 fans.

It took until the 33rd minute for them to take the lead, Mallory Pugh on hand to finish off the rebound after Alex Morgan’s penalty was saved by Endler.

Five minutes later it was 2-0 as Tobin Heath rifled an unstoppable shot off the underside of the crossbar and over the line.

Carli Lloyd came off the bench at half-time for the USA and within two minutes got herself on the scoresheet, heading in a free-kick from Heath to register the 101st goal of her career.

It wasn’t until deep in stoppage-time that USA completed the scoring with Lloyd getting her second to claim player-of-the-match honours.

“Chile was a good opponent for us going into Concacaf qualifying,” Lloyd said.

“They’re pretty similar to the teams we are going to face. We played two good matches and a lot of players got time, we scored some great goals, and we can go into qualifying confident and ready.”

Chile v USA
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This article was originally published on the Westfield Matildas website.
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