The victory was the 150th of veteran goalkeeper Hope Solo’s career, and her 100th clean sheet in international play. In addition, two American rising stars combined for the only U.S. goal in front of 19,272 fans at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Despite dominating the match, the U.S. was unable to find the back of the net through the first half-hour. The defending world champions finally broke through 10 minutes before halftime when 18-year-old Mallory Pugh setup Long Island’s Crystal Dunn for a close-range finish.
Pugh dribbled with pace down the left side of the box and sent a bouncing ball across the face of the goal. Dunn was unmarked at the far post and sent a first-time shot past the goalkeeper for her ninth tally of the year. The goal was Dunn’s ninth of 2016 (Alex Morgan leads with 11) and Pugh earned her team-leading seventh assist through 13 games in her debut year for the senior national team.
With the win, the United States improved to 13-0-1 on the year, including 12 shutouts while allowing only four goals. That match was the first meeting ever between the U.S. women and South Africa.
The U.S. returns to action for its final Olympic send-off game against Costa Rica on July 22 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City at 8 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.