The U.S. Women’s National Team completed an unbeaten 2018 after shutting out a gritty Scotland side, 1-0, on Tuesday night at The Simple Digital Arena. Alex Morgan’s goal in the 39th minute ultimately separated the sides.
The USA had the lion's share of possession throughout the match, as Scotland dropped 11 players inside its own half for most of the game, making it difficult for the WNT to create opportunities. The U.S. finally broke through when Mallory Pugh sent a perfect cross into the six-yard box for Alex Morgan, who finished with a beautiful full volley for the game-winner and her 18th goal of 2018. Scotland did not manage to get any shots on goal in the half but had two in the second frame.
Scotland made three halftime substitutions and created a few more opportunities, but the USA set the tempo and maintained its lead with some solid defending. In the 62nd minute, Pugh was brought down inside the box, earning a penalty kick for the USA. Carli Lloyd stepped up to take the spot kick but her attempt smashed the crossbar and the USA carried the 1-0 scoreline to the end of the game.
Up Next: The U.S. players will go into a much-deserved holiday break before the team reconvenes for its annual January training camp, which will take place in Europe. The USA is set to face World Cup host France at Stade Océane in Le Havre on Jan. 19 (2:30 p.m. ET; FS1) to open its 2019 campaign.