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story.lead_photo.caption Carli Lloyd

PARIS -- Carli Lloyd wasn't thrilled to open the Women's World Cup on the bench for the United States. She accepted the role, but made no secret she wanted to start.

When the call came Sunday, Lloyd made it count with a pair of goals to lead the defending champions to a 3-0 victory over Chile. The victory pushed the United States into the round of 16.

Lloyd was the hero of the World Cup in Canada four years ago when she scored three goals in the final against Japan that gave the Americans their third World Cup title. But she was on the bench when the U.S. opened the tournament, even though she scored later as a substitute in the 13-0 victory over Thailand.

"I know that my ability is there, I know this is my best version of me. I've just got to go out there and prove it," she said. "Whether that's coming off the bench and making an impact, whether that's starting and getting the opportunity, which I'm grateful for, I'm just trying to make the most of it. I want to win."

Lloyd became the first player to score in six consecutive World Cup matches with her goal in the 11th minute.

She added another on a header off a corner in the 35th for her 10th career World Cup goal, which moved her into third on the U.S. list behind Abby Wambach (14) and Michelle Akers (12). At 36, she became the oldest player to have a multi-goal game in the tournament.

She nearly got another hat trick -- which would have made her the first player with two in the World Cup -- but her penalty kick in the 81st minute went wide left.

"It's haunting me right now," Lloyd said. "Wasn't good enough."

The score could have been worse for Chile without unshakable goalkeeper Christiane Endler, who finished with six saves and fended off a flurry of U.S. shots in the second half.

Endler was named player of the match.

"I love the balls coming towards me and being able to showcase my skills," she said through a translator. "Obviously it's difficult to maintain concentration. I think in the first half it was difficult for me to get into the game. I think the second half went better for me and in general for the team."

Jill Ellis made sweeping changes to the starting lineup against Chile, including a new front line with Lloyd, Christen Press and Mallory Pugh. Alex Morgan was moved to the bench along with Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath.

Becky Sauerbrunn, who sat out the match against Thailand because of a minor quad injury, returned and anchored a backline that included 20-year-old Tierna Davidson, who was making her World Cup debut. Davidson is the youngest player to start for the United States in a World Cup since Tiffany Roberts against Norway in 1995.

Chile made just one lineup change, starting midfielder Claudia Soto in place of Yanara Aedo.

Chile lost its opener to Sweden 2-0, but Endler was solid in that game, too, keeping the Swedes out of the goal until 83rd minute. The second goal got past the 6-footer in stoppage time.

Julie Ertz scored in the 26th minute with a header off a corner kick from Davidson that Endler got her hands on but couldn't stop. It was Ertz's first World Cup goal and came with her husband Zach Ertz, a tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles, looking on.

Endler denied Lloyd another chance at the hat trick when she tipped the U.S. captain's shot over the net in the 72nd minute.

Sweden also advanced out of Group F with a victory 5-1 victory over Thailand earlier Sunday in Nice. Japan, playing in Group D with England, also went through to the knockout stage because both the United States and Sweden won.

SWEDEN 5, THAILAND 1

NICE, France -- Thailand finally found something to celebrate after a humiliating start to the Women's World Cup.

It was just a single goal, and it came in a loss to Sweden on Sunday, but it was enough to briefly allow the Thai squad to celebrate. Thailand was routed 13-0 by the United States in its opener.

Sweden, which advanced into the round of 16 with the victory, led 4-0 when Thailand scored. Kanjana Sungngoen got on the end of a high ball and beat Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl at her near post in the first minute of stoppage time.

The Thai players and coaches celebrated as if they had won the match.

Five different players scored for Sweden, and the last goal came from Elin Rubensson from the penalty spot on the final kick of the game after a video review.

The Thai squad bowed to its fans after the final whistle. The game had the smallest announced crowd so far at this tournament with only 9,354 fans in attendance for the Group F match in Nice.

Photo by AP/ALESSANDRA TARANTINO
Jessica McDonald (right) battles for the ball with Chile’s Yessenia Huenteo during the United States’ 3-0 victory during the Women’s World Cup on Sunday in Paris.

Sports on 06/17/2019

Print Headline: Lloyd's two goals lead U.S.

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