The U.S. women's national team defeated Portugal, 1-0, on Thursday at BBVA Stadium in Houston, Texas as U.S. midfielder Samantha Mewis recorded the only goal in the match.
Coach Vlatko Andonovski made his first lineup moves against Portugal in the Summer Series, a competition crafted to mimic Olympic play, opting for a 4-3-3 that shifted more into a 4-1-4-1 against the Portuguese side.
The first half between the two teams was dominated in possession play from USWNT as they established tempo with their signature press, while Portugal tried to combat that in a low block. The organization appeared to work for the Portuguese side, as USWNT struggled to find the back of the net in the first half despite frequently spending time in their opponent's half.
A hydration break in the first half allowed both teams to slightly reset, though the adjustment also appeared to work in both teams' favor, with USWNT still active on the ball, and Portugal attempting to get into the U.S. half. However, both sides entered halftime scoreless with the USWNT holding a whopping 70 percent of the possession while Portuguese goalkeeper Inês Pereira faced five shots on target, including a big kick save on an attempt from U.S. forward Christen Press.
Second half shift
Both teams began the second half with no substitutions, as both coaches opted to let their respective starting lineups sort out their game plans.
The U.S. continued to spend time in dangerous spaces within the final third, trying to open the scoreline, but still struggled to finish on their chances. The breakthrough finally came in the 76th minute as Mewis connected on goal off a set-piece corner assisted by Christen Press.
The lone goal would be the deciding goal, as a quick free-kick tap-in from substitute Carli Lloyd was ultimately ruled offside.
The win is the first for the USWNT during the Summer Series. The team will have two days rest and then face Jamaica on Sunday before closing out the competition on Wednesday.