Women's World Cup: Jill Ellis earmarks two-goal Carli Lloyd for more United States starts

United States star Carli Lloyd responded well to being benched against Thailand and now appears set to claim back a regular starting berth.

Carli Lloyd celebrates after scoring the opening goal in U.S.'s 3-0 victory over Chile. Photo: AP

Jill Ellis says star veteran Carli Lloyd is perfectly poised to claim a regular starting spot after scoring twice in the United States' comfortable 3-0 victory over Chile.

Lloyd, 36, was named in the line-up in Paris on Sunday after being forced to settle for a cameo role in Tuesday's 13-0 thrashing of Thailand. The decorated co-captain took her opportunity in convincing fashion, netting either side of Julie Ertz's header in a one-sided first half.

Her failure to convert a controversial late penalty failed to overshadow a star showing that could prompt more opportunities as the tournament progresses. "Every player wants to play maximum minutes and that's what you want as a coach for sure," Ellis said.

REPORT | US 3-0 Chile

"The fact that she's now scored three goals [in the tournament] ... I don't think she could be in a better spot. I also know Carli is ready to do whatever it takes for this team. It's a great problem. You want to have hot forwards in a tournament and it's a great feeling for them to score goals, so I'm happy."

 

Lloyd greeted the first of her brace with a subdued golf clap, seemingly in response to criticism levelled at the reigning world champion for its exuberant celebrations during the dismantling of Thailand.

Ellis said: "I probably didn't notice [the golf clap]. I didn't really see that. If it was Carli, I'm guessing that was a shout out to her husband [Brian Hollis]. He's a big-time golfer, in case you didn't know."

Read | Three takeaways from U.S.'s big win over Chile

USA's margin of victory would have been greater were it not for Chile goalkeeper Christiane Endler, who made a string of superb saves in the second half. "I'm sad for the defeat, but happy for my performance," the Paris Saint-Germain keeper said after an eye-catching display at the Parc des Princes.

"I prepared intensely this last year to come to the World Cup and perform to the best of my ability. It's a mix of feelings, but I'm satisfied to have played like this, especially here, at this stadium that's my home."

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