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Morgan at the double as USA women thrash New Zealand

Chicago (AFP) – Alex Morgan scored twice as the United States thrashed New Zealand 5-0 in a women’s international football friendly on Tuesday. 

US star Morgan came on as a second-half substitute to take her international goals tally to 77 as the 2015 Women’s World Cup champions swept aside their Kiwi opponents at Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium. 

The US, who had beaten the New Zealanders 3-1 last Friday in Colorado, were slow to get off the mark in Tuesday’s return fixture. 

But when Lindsey Horan opened the scoring with a looping header in the 36th minute, the floodgates opened. 

Horan created the second American goal on the stroke of half-time, releasing overlapping fullback Mallory Pugh who beat New Zealand goalkeeper Erin Nayler at the near post with a low shot. 

In the opening minute of the second half, Morgan scored with her first touch of the game, beating Nayler at her near post once again for 3-0.

A well-taken header by Lynn Williams made it 4-0 in the 55th minute before Morgan then added her second with the best goal of the night. 

Pugh once again proved instrumental in the attack, bombing forward on the left flank before squaring to an unmarked Morgan in the box. 

The 28-year-old Lyon striker took a touch to control before unleashing a ferocious high shot that crashed into the net off the underside of the bar.

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