(Reuters) – United States coach Jill Ellis is pleased with her team’s 3-0 win over South Africa in Sunday’s Women’s World Cup warm-up match but wants them to be more consistent over 90 minutes after questions were raised over their slow start.
The U.S. got a goal in each half through Samantha Mewis and a late third from substitute Carli Lloyd to earn a 3-0 win but they did not score the opening goal until the 37th minute even though they dominated possession.
“I don’t think it’s fatigue, I don’t think it’s training,” Ellis told reporters after the win. “We got so many good takeaways from this game, it was fantastic.
“Sometimes you just have to get into a game. The World Cup games, they don’t always start perfectly. Sometimes several games don’t start perfectly.
“It’s the ability of a team to get better in a game and grow in a game. You start flying and you fade so I think we’ve just got to be the team that’s got to be consistent in what we do.
“Sometimes you play teams that present slightly different things, it does take a little bit of an adjustment. I thought the quality obviously got better.”
Lloyd, who scored her 108th international goal, said the squad still had adjustments to make before the showpiece event in France that kicks off on June 7.
“We got two more games to fine tune some things before we get over there and we’ve got to take every minute and make sure that we get as much as we can out of it,” Lloyd said.
“I think that’s the most important thing, but we’ve got another game against New Zealand and that’s the focus now.”
The U.S., three-times champions, play New Zealand on May 16 and Mexico 10 days later before heading to the World Cup.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)