Even without the likes of Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Kelley O'Hara, the United States Women's National Team did not have to get out of second gear to beat Portugal.
In front of a record-breaking 49,504 fans in Tobin Heath, Morgan Brian, Carli Lloyd and Allie Long helped the USWNT to a four-nil win at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The first half sets the temp for the entire game
Apart from one or two forrays here and there, Portugal did not trouble the USWNT backline which included Casey Short and Tierna Davidson flanking the usual pairing of Abby Dahlkemper and Becky Sauerbrunn. The first goal of the game came quickly as the USWNT pressed Portugal high up the field and won the ball back in the fourth minute. Julie Ertz swung the ball out wide to Christen Press who then drove into the box before squaring the ball across goal for an onrushing Heath to tuck home with ease. Heath thought she had her second not too long afterwards but it was ruled out as she and Lindsey Horan who had nodded the ball down to her, were both offside.
The crowd did not have to wait long for the second goal though, as in the 18th minute Press put in a great corner that picked out Morgan Brian unmarked at the far post. Brian had then had the job of just beating the goalkeeper with her header and she did so efficiently. The USWNT continued to pepper Portugal's goal but could not find the third goal their play had deserved before half time.
Second half changes do not stem the tide for Portugal
Both teams made changes throughout the second half but none of those changes worked for the visiting side. The USWNT on the other hand, dominated proceedings again and added two more goals to the scoreline. Lloyd made it three in the 52nd minute as substitute Jessica McDonald's long throw was helped on by Horan, and Lloyd had a tap in that she celebrated with the 'Fly Eagles Fly' celebration.
Portugal should have had a consolation goal right after Lloyd's goal but Jéssica Silva took too long on the ball and Fátima Pinto effort went right at Adrianna Franch. Jessica McDonald hit the post and Press had a goal ruled out before Allie Long grabbed the USWNT's fourth of the night in the 82nd minute. Lloyd got to the byline, cut in and crossed the ball in and Long got to it before the goalkeeper with a diving header for seventh international goal.
Goals: Heath (min. 4), Brian (min. 18), Lloyd (min. 52), Long (min. 82).
USA: Franch; Sonnett (Short, min. 60), Dahlkemper (Mewis, min. 46), Sauerbrunn, Davidson (Dunn, min. 46); Ertz, Brian (Long, min. 61), Horan (Pugh, min. 61); Heath (McDonald, min. 46), Lloyd, Press.
Portugal: Morais; Borges (Fidalgo, min. 63), Rebelo, Mendes, Marchão (Norton, min. 46); Marques, T. Pinto, Do. Silva; Neto (F. Pinto, min. 46); J. Silva (Gomes, min. 88), Di. Silva (Mendes, min. 63).