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BC-SOC--New Zealand-US

May 17, 2019
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Carli Lloyd scored twice and Alyssa Naeher got the shutout, helping the U.S. women’s national team beat New Zealand 5-0 in a World Cup series send-off match on Thursday.

Tobin Heath, Rose Lavelle and Samantha Mewis also scored for the United States.

It was Team USA’s second date in a three-match series leading up to the World Cup, which begins June 7 in France. The U.S. faces Mexico on May 26 in Harrison, New Jersey, in its final tuneup.

Heath and Lavelle scored six minutes apart in the first half to break open the match.

Lloyd tallied just 44 seconds after entering in the 61st minute.

Heath tipped in a cross from Megan Rapinoe in the 35th minute for a 1-0 lead. It was the 29th international goal for Heath, who scored twice in the SheBelieves Cup this year.

Lavelle converted a left-footed deflection off a pass from Lindsey Horan.

Heath’s goal came just three minutes after Naeher punched out a free kick from Anna Green just outside the box.

Naeher posted her 24th career shutout.

Lloyd, who has 48 national team goals since 2015, also scored off a toe-to-toe pass from Heath late in the contest.

The United States has qualified for all eight World Cup tournaments and owns three championships after winning the 2015 event in Canada.

The Americans beat South Africa 3-0 in a tuneup on Sunday.

New Zealand will be making its fourth World Cup appearance and is still searching for its first victory.

Team USA is in a group with Thailand, Chile and Sweden and will open June 11 against Thailand.