Carli Lloyd revealed that she shut out all outside factors prior to her penalty in United States’ 2-0 semi-final win over Germany at the Women’s World Cup.
The Americans progressed to the Vancouver final after their win in Montreal, with Lloyd’s 69th-minute penalty added to late on by Kelley O’Hara’s maiden international goal.
Fresh in Lloyd’s mind would have been a miss nine minutes earlier from the spot by Germany’s Celia Sasic, but the 32-year-old – in her 201st international – used all her experience to deal with the situation.
“I think I’ve been taking PKs [penalty kicks] after training for the last seven or eight months,” Lloyd said.
“Just repetition after repetition.
“That felt like a good five minutes where I was waiting to take that PK.
“I walked over, I got the ball, I don’t know what was going on behind me, I don’t know what the ref was saying, I don’t know what the goalkeeper was doing.
“All I know was I put the ball down and I had to sink this PK.”
Coach Jill Ellis lauded her side’s effort at the other end of the park, with the Americans extending their clean-sheet streak to five matches – making it 513 minutes since they last conceded.
“It’s a spectacular stat to be honest with you,” Ellis said.
“We said as a team we need to get just one more than the opponent, if we keep a clean sheet.
“Not just our goalkeeper and our back four, I think that this team has embraced the accountability and responsibility of defending in every line.
“It’s something we ask of them – but they deliver and they understand that it’s important.
“We’ve got gritty players in the back, we’ve got sophisticated players in the back and they just do a great job of reading the game and shutting down the opponent.”
United States will meet the winner of Japan and England’s semi-final – to be played on Wednesday – in the final on July 5.
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