Writen by Oluwaseun Oyediji
In their first game after Round of 16 ouster at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, former world champions, United States Women’s Nationsl Team (USWNT) recorded a 3-0 win over South Africa in an international friendly match on Friday.
Disapointed with their worst showing at the World Cup, USA started the game with Alyssa Naeher, Naomi Girma, Lynn Williams, Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Alana Cook, Alex Morgan, Emily Sonnet, Crystal Dunn, Emily Fox, and Trinity Rodman.
For African Champions, Kaylin Swart, Leboang Ramalepe, Bongeka Gamede, Noxolo Cesane, Karabo Dhlamini, Gabriela Salgado, Linda Mothlalo, Thembi Kgathlana, Jermaine Seoponsenwe, Tilsetso Makhubela, and Kholosa Biyana started the match for Desiree Ellis side.
The game was rounded up in the first half with all goals coming in the first period.
Lynn Williams scored two goals with Rodman adding one to make it 3-0 while Banyana Banyana put up a good defensive display in the second half to cushion the effect of conceding more goals.
The game was the first under American interim manager, Twila Kilgore who replaced Vlatko Andonovoski after the World Cup.
The most poignant moment of the evening arrived when Julie Ertz, in her 123rd appearance for the national team, handed over the captaincy to Horan, embraced her teammates, and left the field in tears, making way for substitute Andi Sullivan.
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It was a memorable night for Ertz, who announced her retirement last month after a remarkable 10-year career.
Her husband, Zach Ertz, tight end for the Arizona Cardinals, shared a heartfelt message ahead of her final game.
In a touching video posted by the Cardinals, Zach praised his wife’s dedication, commitment, passion, and courage.
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