Lindsey Horan has a message for anyone playing the U.S. Women’s National Team: Don’t make her angry.
“That’s where you get the best football from Lindsey,” the USWNT captain said of herself after Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw with Netherlands. “I don’t think you ever want to get me mad because I don’t react in a good way. Usually I just go and I want something more — I want to win more, I want to score more, I want to do more for my team.”
Horan, 29, scored an early contender for the USWNT’s “goal of the tournament” on Wednesday night as she buried a fiery header into the back of the net after getting into a heated argument with Netherland’s midfielder Danielle van de Donk.
Van de Donk, who is Horan’s teammate on Lyon in the French women’s soccer league, knocked Horan down with an aggressive hip-to-hip challenge that led to an extended argument as the ref tried repeatedly to get the two players to shake hands.
U.S. defender Julie Ertz even stepped in to try and calm down Horan, who risked missing the team’s next game if she got a yellow card, already having one from the game prior against Vietnam.
“Julie came up to me in the box and she was like, ‘Linds, please, don’t get another yellow card. Just score this goal to shut everyone up,’ “ Horan recalled, according to ESPN. “And that’s what happened.”
Defiant, Horan stood with her hands on her hips and ignored van de Donk, who replied with a coy smile. But Horan got the last laugh, scoring on the very next play from the corner and launching into a running celebration.
“That moment, that little tackle — big tackle — changed a shift in my head because I want to do everything for my team and to win these games,” Horan said.
The goal couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for the American team, which had its back against the wall, trailing 1-0 to the Dutch in the second half. If that outcome had remained, it would’ve meant the USWNT would’ve lost for the first time in the World Cup since the 2011 final, and risked not making it out of the group stage to the knockout rounds.
But Horan had something to say about that with her second goal in as many games for the U.S. team.
“She gets fouled, kicked, hurt and obviously it’s a very difficult moment,” coach Vlatko Andonovski said, according to The New York Times. “And instead of crying about it, she just goes and makes a statement, and basically that shows everyone in the world the direction that the game is going to take.”
The Colorado native’s game-saving goal kept the back-to-back World Cup champions’ 12-year undefeated streak alive, while keeping the team atop its group’s standings.
The USWNT will now play Portugal next Tuesday, needing a win or tie to advance to the knockout round and extend its quest for an unprecedented three consecutive World Cup wins.
After the game, Horan and van de Donk immediately buried the hatchet, meeting at midfield for a hug and later sharing a selfie together on Instagram. “[Lindsey Horan], always a pleasure,” van de Donk captioned the photo. “Love ya.”