Following their victory against Chile, the U.S. women will face off against Sweden on Thursday


The U.S. women’s soccer team won its World Cup match against Chile on Sunday, and Carli Lloyd sent a message to the team’s critics when celebrating the big victory.

Lloyd, 36, scored an 18-yard goal 11 minutes into the match, where she proceeded to leap and pump a fist whilst hugging teammate Lindsey Horan, followed with a celebratory “golf clap” — which was a literal clap-back after the U.S. team was criticized for celebrating their huge 13-0 victory against Thailand last week.

“I can’t take credit for it. I’m not sure if Lindsey is taking credit for it,” Lloyd told ESPN after their after a 3-0 victory against Chile. “She had told me if we score, that’s what we’re going to do, so I just went along with it after I did my little celebration. But it was fun. I think it made a statement on the sideline there. It was cool.”

“We decided to do something different today,” Horan, 25 added. “Handshakes were part of it. Golf clap was part of it.”

US beats Chile
Credit: Alessandra Tarantino/AP/Shutterstock

Head coach Jill Ellis told ESPN the inspiration for the golf clap likely came from Lloyd’s husband, Brian Hollins, a professional golfer.

Although goal celebrations are a traditional and beloved part of soccer, the women’s team took heat from social media critics after their Thailand victory, with some saying that they should have toned down the excitement.

“[Zero] problem with the score line as this is THE tournament,” retired soccer player Taylor Twellman said. “BUT celebrating goals (like #9) leaves a sour taste in my mouth like many of you. Curious to see if anyone apologizes for this postgame.”

Others defended the women, including retired U.S. soccer player Abby Wambach, who wrote on Twitter, “For all that have issue with many goals: for some players this is there [sic] first World Cup goal, and they should be excited. Imagine it being you out there. This is your dream of playing and then scoring in a World Cup. Celebrate. Would you tell a men’s team to not score or celebrate?”

US beats Chile
Credit: Catherine Steenkeste/Getty

Following their victory against Chile — which saw Alex Morgan tie another World Cup record by scoring five goals during the game — the women are onto their next match against Sweden on Thursday.

“There’s a lot of grass to navigate between now and potential matchups,” Lloyd continued to ESPN. “This game is a crazy game, and you have to bring it every single match.”

“We’re climbing up a mountain now,” Lloyd added, “and it’s only going to get harder.”