A match without many real scoring chances and just nine total shots during the game. The USA had an advantage in possession, but could not convert it into goals. The game-winner came as defender and team captain Pryce served a long ball over the Finland defense to Lohman, who brought the ball down with her chest in the left side of the penalty area and toe-poked the ball past the goalkeeper from 16 yards out into the left corner.
The USA played without starting midfielder Aly Wagner (Santa Clara/San Jose, Calif.) and starting defender Cat Reddick (UNC/Birmingham, Ala.), who arrived just before the final whistle to join the team on the bench after traveling from Blaine, Minnesota, where both played 90 minutes in a 4-0 victory over Norway.
Finland played a 4-5-1 bunker formation for most of the match in an effort to limit the U.S. attack.
Post game quotes
U.S. Head Coach Jerry Smith
We achieved our objective in a very tricky opening match, playing against Finland in Finland, while missing a couple of key players. Our team showed great patience and discipline against a well-organized defensive effort by Finland.
Team captain Nandy Pryce
The first 20 minutes, we were kind of unsettled. I think we had some opening game jitters playing against the home team, but we rode out the storm in the first half, settled down and we earned a bunch of corner kicks. Jerry wanted us to look forward earlier, and I saw Joanna making a good run along their restraining line and luckily I was able to get her the ball.
After not making the Nordic Cup team last year, I really wanted to make it and contribute this summer. It was a great team effort, but we know it's just the first game. We have to win two more to get to the championship game, which is where we want to be.
The USA face Denmark next, they must win the group in order to play for the championship on Sunday, July 28.