Goal Analysis: Alex Morgan – England Women 1-2 United States Women 2/7/2019

Goal Analysis: Alex Morgan – England Women 1-2 United States Women 2/7/2019

The United States’ winning goal came from some fairly basic defensive errors by England’s full-back.

The move starts with the United States attacking down the right, but they move the ball back to the centre-backs and switch play out to Christen Press on the left flank.

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The United states attack down the right
Morgan goal
They play back to the centre-backs
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They switch play to the left. The five United States attackers position themselves between the four England defenders

The United States have positioned themselves well, overloading England’s back four with an attacking line of five, with each attacker in the gaps between the defenders. This poses a problem for the defenders as they can’t effectively cover all five attackers: they either have to stay as they are between them and give the attackers space, or they must get clsoer to the attackers and leave one of them free.

The solution is fairly simple in this case though. Rose Lavelle on the right wing is so far away from Press that if any attempt was made to play her the ball, England could move across to meet her by the time it got there, and, out in the wide area, she’s not in a position to realistically threaten the goal anyway. England left-back Demi Stokes is rightly wide with her when the ball is on that side, but, once the ball goes out to Press on the opposite side, in a good zonal system Stokes should be tucking into the centre. She starts to do this but is slow, never getting goalside of Alex Morgan.

When the ball was played out to Press, Lucy Bronze initially goes out to close her down, however, checking her shoulder, she stops, wary of the run of Lindsey Horan behind her and drops off, putting her in a position to defend against Press if she goes down the outside or Horan if the ball is played inside.

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Press plays inside to Horan coming short. Stokes isn’t goalside of Morgan.

Horan then comes short for the ball and Press plays it straight into her feet. Bronze never puts any pressure on her though, allowing her to turn and swing a cross over the heads of the England defenders. Maybe Bronze was concerned about Press making a run down the outside, or maybe she assumed Keira Walsh would get back in time from midfield to close her down, but, either way, Horan was given the time to pick out a dangerous ball into the box.

Morgan goal
Bronze doesn’t close down Horan, who has the space to turn and play a pass. Stokes still isn’t goalside of Morgan.

Stokes’ failure to tuck back in on the other side means that Morgan has a free run on goal, scoring with an uncontested header as Stokes tries in vain to make up ground behind her.

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Morgan gets to the ball first and scores

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