PARIS — As she stood at the midfield line with fourth official Esther Staubli during the United States’ 3-0 victory over Chile on Sunday, Allie Long was ready to realize a two-decades-long dream.
The Northport native made her Women’s World Cup debut, replacing Lindsey Horan in the 59th minute.
“It was a dream of mine,” Long said. “I just wanted to play. The field was perfect. I was just really excited to get out there and enjoy every minute that I had.”
The Americans (2-0-0, six points), who clinched a knockout-round berth, lead Group F via goal differential (plus-16 to plus-6) over Sweden (2-0-0, six points), a 5-1 winner over Thailand.
Carli Lloyd struck in the 11th and 35th minutes as the 2015 Golden Ball winner set a World Cup record by scoring in her sixth successive match. Her goals were sandwiched around a spectacular 26th-minute header by Julie Ertz while standing with her back to the goal.
The score didn’t tell the story of the Americans’ domination. They outshot the South Americans (26-1), took more corner kicks (15-1) and enjoyed 68 percent possession.
In a World Cup first, Team USA used all of its 20 field players in its first two matches, which should give coach Jill Ellis greater flexibility down the road. Rockville Centre’s Crystal Dunn, who competed in the 13-0 win over Thailand, did not play.
“We are the deepest team in the World Cup,” Long said. “It’s going to take every single player to win this. So just to get everyone’s feet wet and into the game, I couldn’t think of a better way to start the tournament.”
Even the 31-year-old Long’s feet.
“I feel like I’m always a composed player, but obviously, the world stage is a different beast,” she said. “I loved it. So it’s really important just to get touches, just to get the debut out of the way and focus on the game.”
Long got her opportunity at Parc des Princes stadium before a sellout crowd of 45,594. After Women’s Professional Soccer folded after the 2011 season, she had a season with the Paris St-Germain team, which competes at another venue.
“It was so great,” she said. “The last time I was here, I was watching the men play, so it was surreal. It was such a cool experience.”
While she did not figure in the scoring, Long was fouled by Yessenia Huented so close to the penalty area in the 80th minute that referee Riem Hussein used the Video Assistant Referee to determine whether it occurred inside the box. She ruled it was.
“She held me, and I felt it, so I love VAR today,” Long said with a laugh.
Lloyd took the penalty but missed her chance at another WWC hat trick by shanking her attempt wide left of goalkeeper Christiane Endler, named player of the match for making several spectacular saves.
While she was glowing from her debut, Long knew she would be placed under fire by her severest critique — her husband, former Molloy College standout and U.S. youth international Jose Batista. He will fly in for Thursday’s game against Sweden in Le Harve and stay the rest of the way.
“I can’t wait,” Long said. “Of course, he watches every game. Probably critiquing me. Can’t wait to get back to my phone to see what he said about this game. He’s probably mad about my yellow.”
She was as well about the 88th-minute infraction.
“I didn’t know she was there, so it’s not my [fault],” she said. “I didn’t mean to elbow her.”