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USWNT rides strong second half to win over Netherlands

Thailand vs United States

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 15: Carli Lloyd #10 of the US Women’s National Team controls the ball in the first half as Duangnapa Sritala #4 of Thailand defends on September 15, 2016 at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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After an utterly dominating performance against Thailand on Thursday night, the U.S. Women’s National Team was tasked with a much more difficult challenge on Sunday against the Netherlands.

It probably wasn’t how the USWNT wanted to win, but a second half own goal and an Allie Long finish gave the hosts a 3-1 win over the Dutch in Atlanta. A driven ball into the penalty box from Megan Rapinoe set up Long after the initial header was won by Crystal Dunn.

Mandy van den Berg was the unfortunate party to concede the finish in the 50th minute, and from there the visitors had difficulty recovering as the U.S. mounted more pressure.

Carli Lloyd pulled the USWNT level 10 minutes before the halftime whistle after Tobin Heath found the captain open inside the penalty area.

The U.S. nearly took the lead just minutes before the half but Alex Morgan’s dangerous ball across the face of goal couldn’t find another American player and rolled out for a Dutch goal kick.

An early lapse from the U.S. backline saw Jill Ellis’ group trailing within two minutes of the kick off, and it was Shanice van de Sanden who capitalized on a Dutch long ball sent forward.

Meanwhile, Rapinoe entered the match four minutes after the hour mark. The U.S. veteran attacker continued her stance of kneeling during the national anthem prior to the game’s kickoff.