Carli Lloyd Scores Three Goals as U.S. Takes Aim at World Cup

Carli Lloyd Scores Three Goals as U.S. Takes Aim at World Cup

CARY, N.C. — The United States used a radically different lineup but had another dominating result.

Carli Lloyd scored three goals to fuel a 5-0 victory over Panama on Sunday in the group stage of the Concacaf World Cup qualifying tournament.

Christen Press added a goal and two assists for the Americans, who led by 4-0 at halftime.

The United States lineup had nine changes from the group that started the team’s 6-0 tournament-opening win over Mexico on Thursday night. Only defender Abby Dahlkemper and midfielder Julie Ertz started again, with the star forwards Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe among those absent from the starting 11.

“I think over all, it should give the group a lot of confidence knowing that we have so much depth on this team,” Lloyd said. “We can seriously be deadly and unstoppable. It’s coming together collectively for everyone. It’s looking good.”

The United States struck for three goals in less than 10 minutes midway through the first half. Lloyd, who had her eighth international hat trick, scored twice during that stretch. Among her goals was a highlight-worthy effort in the 29th minute in which she eluded three defenders while working her way from left to right in the penalty area.

A longtime midfielder, Lloyd started at striker and showed progress in her adjustment to her new role.

“I’ve been studying the game and trying to evolve,” she said. “With that has kind of been this thing where I’ve kind of had to take a couple of steps backward to go five steps forward. It feels really good. It’s clicking.”

The United States scored in the fifth minute when Samantha Mewis headed in a corner kick from Press, and the team applied relentless pressure for the rest of the half.

The score would have been even more lopsided if not for several acrobatic saves by 17-year-old Panama goalkeeper Yenith Bailey. Panama did not attempt its first shot until the 61st minute. The United States outshot Panama, 35-4, over all.

The United States improved to 2-0 in Group A play of the Concacaf women’s championship, an eight-team tournament that decides the region’s three spots in the World Cup next year in France. A fourth team will advance to a playoff against Argentina.

With the potential to play five matches over two weeks, Coach Jill Ellis said she wanted to rest some players and “manage this tournament with the intent to try to win it.”

“It’s a 13-day type of deal, and five games is a lot,” Ellis said. “We have the ability to do that with the talent we have on this team.”

Ranked No. 1 in the world and the reigning World Cup champion, the United States plays Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday in the last of its three round-robin matches. Panama entered the match tied with the United States atop Group A after a 3-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday. Panama will play Mexico on Wednesday. On Sunday, Mexico defeated Trinidad and Tobago by 4-1 behind Charlyn Corral’s two goals.

The top two teams from Group A will advance to the Concacaf semifinals in Frisco, Tex., with the top two finishers from Group B. Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba and Jamaica are playing in Group B in Edinburg, Tex.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page D2 of the New York edition with the headline: Despite Lineup Changes, U.S. Women Cruise to Win. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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