USWNT overcome Scotland to end 2018 unbeaten

By Tom Bodell, Football Whispers

Alex Morgan's 18th goal of a remarkable 2018 was enough for the US Women's National Team to beat fellow World Cup finalists Scotland and end the calendar year unbeaten for just the fourth time in their history.

The USWNT have previously gone unbeaten in 2003, 2006 and 2016. You can click here here to read more of the incredible statistics behind their incredible year. 

Having beaten Portugal 1-0 on Sunday to record the country's 500th all-time victory in women's internationals, the US completed 2018 at The Simple Digital Arena in Paisley, Glasgow.

Scotland, who will also be at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France, made life difficult for the visitors who were forced to try to find a way through a resolute 11-player defence for much of the game.

In the end the pivotal moment came six minutes before half time. Mallory Pugh delivered an inch-perfect cross into the six-yard box where Morgan arrived to fire home a stunning first-time volley.

It was the 29-year-old's 18th goal of a truly superb year and means she is now two goals away from her century for the USWNT. With two more strikes Morgan will become the seventh player in the country's history to reach 100 goals, drawing level with Tiffeny Milbrett.

The USWNT might have doubled their lead in the 62nd minute when Pugh was brought down inside the box. Carli Lloyd stepped up to take the penalty kick but crashed her effort against the crossbar. Despite dominating proceedings, the US could not enhance their lead before full time.

The new year will begin 2019 with a test of their credentials against World Cup hosts France at the Stade Océane in Le Havre on January 19 (2.30pm ET). 

USA: Harris; 2-Sonnett (McDonald, 68), Dahlkemper, Sauerbrunn, Fox (Colaprico, 76); Ertz, Lavelle, Dunn; Pugh, Lloyd (c) (Mewis, 90), Morgan (Long, 88).

Subs not used: Sullivan, Rapinoe, Franch.

Scotland: Alexander (Lynn, 46); Corsie (c), Beattie, Lauder (Brown, 46), Arthur (Smith, 46), Love (Murray, 66), Weir, Emslie, Brown (Arnot, 84), Cuthbert, Ross (Clelland, 75).

Subs not used: Fife, Docherty, Ness, Crichton, Murray, Kerr.