Soccer: U.S. women 'motivated' from upset loss to Mexico, coach says


Feb. 27 (UPI) -- The United States Women's National Team "will be motivated" by an upset loss to Mexico at the Concacaf Women's Gold Cup, interim manager Twila Kilgore told reporters.

Kilgore made the comment after the 2-0 setback Monday at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. The Americans held a 62% to 38% advantage in possession, but were outshot 13-9.

The victory was just Mexico's second in history against the Americans, who are the No. 2 team in the world rankings. Mexico, who failed to qualify for last year's World Cup, is ranked No. 35.

"I think it just shows how far the game is coming and there's no easy games anymore," Kilgore said. "And if we don't take care of business and we don't execute, this is to be expected. We'll step up and take ownership in that, and I think anytime you have a group that is willing to take ownership in things like this, it's a good thing for the future of the tournament.

"Everything's still on the table, and we'll be motivated, that's for sure."

Forward Lizbeth Ovalle and midfielder Marya Pelayo-Bernal scored in the first and second half, respectively.

Ovalle found the net in the 38th minute, beating American keeper Alyssa Naeher. Ovalle capitalized on a defensive miscue for that goal, stealing an attempted clearance from defender Becky Sauerbrunn at the top of the box. She finished the play by pulling Naeher out of position before chipping a long shot into the far-post netting.

Pelayo-Bernal placed another brilliant finish past Naeher in stoppage time. The midfielder carried the ball deep into American territory, put a move on several defenders and ripped that 20-yard attempt from left to right, beating a diving Naeher into the right side of the net.

The win resulted in Mexico winning Group A, while the Americans finished second in the group stage. Both teams will advance to the knockout stage.

The Americans will battle Japan in a SheBelieves Cup semifinal at 12:30 p.m. EST April 6 in Atlanta.