USWNT star Alex Morgan has hit out at Spain’s ‘reckless’ tackling against her and her teammates in Monday night’s Women’s World Cup round of 16 tie in Reims, which the US won 2-1.
Both of the American goals came from the penalty spot – one in the first five minutes, and the other 15 minutes from time when the game was getting tight after Jennifer Hermoso’s equaliser and Spain’s intense pressing.
Morgan and her attacking teammates bore the brunt of the physical nature of the Spanish gameplan, the tournament’s top scorer saying after the game: “I think that they wanted to be more aggressive, which they showed.
“We got a lot of free kicks out of it and could’ve capitalised more than we did, and at the end of the day the penalties showed their physicality, and at times they were quite reckless.”
She added: “I don’t remember them being this physical [when we played them in January], this aggressive, this reckless in challenges. That was different, I wasn’t expecting that but we were able to capitalise on that with penalties.”
The player who came out of the came with the nastiest battle wound, though, was Spain midfielder Vicky Losada – who was barrelled into by Sam Mewis immediately after the US kicked off following Spain’s equaliser.
Mewis caught Losada in the face with her knee as the former Arsenal player fell, leaving her with a prominent black eye which forced her to be substituted off just half an hour into the match.
“It was a physical game,” Losada admitted after the match, “but we showed can also play that kind of game and I’m very proud of the team. We’ve played a really good game, a really serious game. I think we deserved more, but sometimes football ends like this.”
The US will play France in the quarter-finals in Paris on Friday.