By Karen Price | June 16, 2019, 2 p.m. (ET)

Carli Lloyd celebrates after scoring her team's first goal at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup on June 16, 2019 in Paris.

 

Three-time Olympian Carli Lloyd was back in the starting lineup for the U.S. women’s soccer team on Sunday, and almost immediately the decorated veteran made her case for staying there.

Relegated to a “super sub” role in the lead-up to the World Cup and in the opener against Thailand, Lloyd scored 11 minutes into the game and then again in the 35th minute as the U.S. defeated Chile, 3-0, in France.

The U.S. are now set to advance to the knockout rounds as it looks to defend their 2015 title, but first the team will face Sweden on Thursday as it tries to win the group.

Inserting Lloyd in the starting lineup was just one of many changes coach Jill Ellis made on Sunday. Just four players who started in Tuesday’s rout of Thailand started Sunday’s game as well, with stars such as Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe among those on the bench.

Lloyd, who has not hidden her disappointment about coming off the bench, made her presence known with what would end up being the game-winning goal. 

When one of Chile’s players headed the ball back toward center away from her goal, Lloyd picked it up around the penalty arc and whacked it to the far side of the net. The goalkeeper could only watch as it sailed past her on the left and the U.S. took a 1-0 lead.

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Julie Ertz made it 2-0 in the 26th minute on a set piece for her first career World Cup goal. She ran to the near post with speed and headed a shot that the keeper could only get her fingertips on but not stop.

Nine minutes later, Lloyd scored her second of the game on another set piece, heading the ball down and to the back of the net. She missed on a penalty kick and the chance for the hat trick late in the game. Lloyd famously scored a hat trick in the U.S. victory over Japan in the World Cup Final in 2015.

The 36-year-old from Delran, New Jersey, came off the bench on Tuesday to score the 13th and final goal for the U.S. She has now scored in a record six consecutive World Cup games.

In just two games the U.S. has scored more at this World Cup than it has at any of the last four tournaments. The last time the U.S. women scored more than 16 goals was in 1999, when they famously won the title on home soil.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.