VIDEO: Lloyd double helps USWNT rout Belgium in first ever meeting

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MARK RALSTON
The veteran got the scoring going early on and Jill Ellis' side never really slowed down in an international friendly trouncing of Belgium

The early going of 2019 hasn't been all that pretty for the U.S. women's national team, but Sunday's win over Belgium offered a glimpse of the side at its absolute best. 

Jill Ellis' outfit entered Sunday's friendly with Belgium having stumbled through much of the early going in 2019 after a historically good year in 2018, having won just three of six outings while suffering through two draws and a loss. 

Wins over Brazil to close the SheBelieves Cup, and Australia in a friendly last Thursday failed to inspire much confidence either, but Sunday's win was a different matter. 

Carli Lloyd struck twice inside the opening 20 minutes to get the match off to a flying start, with Lindsey Horan and Sam Mewis both netting before the break. 

Lloyd's opener came in the 14th minute from a set piece with the midfielder beating her defender to the ball and finding the corner with a fine header. 

Her second, just six minutes later, was another excellent piece of heading. The USA broke in down the left, Crystal Dunn beat a defender before whipping in a cross for Lloyd to nod across goal and in. 

And the USWNT's dominance in the air would continue throughout the first half. 

Horan beat her marker from a corner to nod home the third of the night, while Mewis made use of her head on another set piece to make it 4-0. 

The first non-headed goal of the night came from Alex Morgan, who joined the 100-goal club with her strike against Australia. 

Lloyd set the table, cutting in from the left and playing a clever heel pass to the overlapping Morgan who slammed home from a narrow angle. 

Jessica McDonald added a bit more gloss to the scoreline with a sixth for the USA, once again a headed effort, in stoppage time, with Belgium never causing the USWNT the trouble that other sides have managed to throughout 2019. 

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