U.S. Women’s National Team wins SheBelieves Cup on England own goal
ORLANDO, Fla. (via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated England 1-0 in front of 12,351 fans at Orlando City Stadium on Wednesday night to win its second SheBelieves Cup title in three years.
A tight defensive affair in the opening minutes, the USA went on to out-shoot England 3-0 in the first half with the most dangerous chances coming late in the frame. In the 43rd minute, Megan Rapinoe passed a ball into the middle of the box, but no one could get to it and England cleared it out of danger. A minute later, Mallory Pugh made a beautiful run and set herself up on top of the box but her shot hit off the outside of the left.
After knocking at the door from the start in the second half, the USA’s pressure on England finally got to the Three Lionesses in the 58th minute when a cross from Rapinoe deflected in for the game winner after hitting England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley’s leg.
In the first game of the day, France defeated Germany 3-0 in what was the final match for both teams at the 2018 SheBelieves Cup, getting a first half screamer from Amandine Henry and second-half scores from Eugenie Le Sommer and Valerie Gauvin that sealed the victory.
The win cemented a third-place finish for France – a year after winning the world’s most elite four-team women’s soccer tournament – behind England, both of whom earned 1-1-1 records. Germany rounded out the final standings with an 0-2-1 finish.
Next, the U.S. WNT will host a pair of friendlies against CONCACAF neighbor Mexico on April 5 (7 p.m. ET; FS1) in Jacksonville, Fla. at EverBank Field and on April 8 (1:30 p.m. ET; FOX) in Houston, Texas at BBVA Stadium.
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- After having only three players (Sauerbrunn, Mewis, Lloyd) start all three SheBelieves games in 2017, the U.S. WNT had seven start all three in 2018 (Naeher, Dahlkemper, Davidson, Horan, Pugh, Morgan, Rapinoe).
- Five players in the USA’s starting lineup (Dunn, Lloyd, Horan, Pugh and Morgan) started against France at last year’s SheBelieves Cup.
- Only three players on the USA roster played all 270 minutes of the tournament: goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, and defenders Tierna Davidson and Abby Dahlkemper.
- Just like it in the first three USA matches of 2018, there were two teenagers in the USA’s starting XI today, in 19-year-olds Mallory Pugh and Tierna Davidson, both of whom are age-eligible for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
- Against Denmark in San Diego, the pair combined for two goals and two assists. Before that match in San Diego, the last time two teenagers were in the WNT starting lineup was June 30, 2001 vs. Canada in Toronto. Aleisha Cramer (18) and Cat Whitehill (19) both played the entire game. Both Davidson and Andi Sullivan (who starts tonight on the bench) won the 2017 NCAA College Cup with Stanford in this stadium.
- Captaining the USA today was Carli Lloyd, who earned cap No. 250. With her start tonight, she became the sixth player in U.S. history to earn 250 caps. She is sitting on 98 goals, two away from becoming the sixth player to score 100 or more for the USA, and the first since 2009 when Abby Wambach scored her 100th.
- Naeher earned her 27th cap tonight. She also earned her 14th career shutout. She is the seventh goalkeeper in U.S. history to earn 25 or more caps.
Emily Sonnett made her first start since Oct. 19, 2016 against Switzerland. She earned her 15th cap tonight. She played all 90 minutes.
- Abby Dahlkemper made her 17th career appearance today. She was one of three players to play all 270 minutes of the tournament.
- Davidson made her fourth consecutive start in as many international appearances. She became the 21st woman to make a WNT debut under Jill Ellis on Jan. 21 in San Diego. She earned her first career assist on that game. The 19-year-old Davidson helped lead Stanford to the NCAA Championship this past season. She is the third teenager since 2013 to earn a first cap for the U.S. WNT.
- Mallory Pugh (17 in 2016) and Lindsey Horan (19 in 2013) are the most recent teenagers to debut for the WNT.
- Crystal Dunn earned her 59th career cap tonight and made her first start since July 30, 2017 against Brazil. She played tonight’s game as an outside back, a position she played during the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, and at the beginning of her senior WNT career.
- Pugh earned her 33rd cap for the WNT tonight. She leads the WNT in scoring in 2018 after tallying her first career brace against Denmark on Jan. 21 and a goal against France on March 4. She made her 25th career start tonight, putting her in second all-time in starts before the age of 20 behind only Tiffany Roberts (41).
- Alex Morgan came into the match with 81 goals and earned her 138th cap tonight. At age 28, she sits in sole possession of seventh place on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list. She’s scored eight goals over her last 11 WNT matches, with her most recent coming on Jan. 21 against Denmark.
– U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. England
Date: March 7, 2018
Competition: SheBelieves Cup
Venue: Orlando City Stadium; Orlando, Fla.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: 68 degrees; clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
ENG 0 0 0
USA – Own goal (Karen Bardsley) 58th minute
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 16-Emily Sonnett, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 17-Tierna Davidson, 19-Crystal Dunn; 20-Allie Long (14-Sofia Huerta, 74), 9-Lindsey Horan (6-Morgan Brian, 74), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 11-Mallory Pugh (12-Lynn Williams, 90+2), 13-Alex Morgan, 15-Megan Rapinoe (21-Savannah McCaskill, 80)
Substitutes: 2-Casey Short, 3-Andi Sullivan, 5-Kelley O’Hara, 8-Julie Ertz, 18-Jane Campbell, 22-Taylor Smith, 23-Christen Press, 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
ENG: 1-Karen Bardsley; 2-Lucy Bronze, 15-Abbie McManus, 6-Millie Bright, 3-Demi Stokes (12-Hannah Blundell, 87); 22-Keira Walsh (8-Jill Scott 86), 16-Izzy Christiansen; 19-Mel Lawley (11-Toni Duggan, 52), 10-Fran Kirby (17-Rachel Daly, 75), 18-Ellen White; 9-Jodie Taylor (7-Nikita Parris, 52)
Substitutes: 4-Fara Williams, 13-Siobhan Chamberlain, 14-Alex Greenwood, 20-Georgia Stanwood, 23-Gabby George
Head Coach: Phil Neville
Stats Summary: USA / ENG
Shots: 8 / 6
Shots on Goal: 2 / 0
Saves: 0 / 2
Corner Kicks: 5 / 4
Fouls: 8 / 13
Offside: 0 / 7
Referee: Carol Anne Chenard (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Chantal Boudreau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephanie-Dale Yee Sing (JAM)
4th Official: Odette Hamilton (JAM)