USWNT defeats Spain 1-0 in SheBelieves Cup match at sold-out Red Bull Arena
HARRISON, N.J. – The U.S. Women’s National Team continued the 2020 SheBelieves Cup with a well-earned 1-0 triumph vs. 2019 World Cup Round of 16 opponent Spain in front of 26,500 fans at a sold-out Red Bull Arena.
Fresh off earning her 100th cap for the USWNT on March 5 against England, Julie Ertz scored a dramatic late winner in the 87th minute to lift the USA to victory.
As the final minutes melted away and match remained deadlocked, the USA pushed for a goal, and Lynn Williams was fouled on the left side, about 15 yards outside the penalty area and 23 yards from the end line. Christen Press served in a perfect free kick service straight to the head of the slashing Ertz for brilliant set piece goal that brought the sold-out crowd to its feet.
The win vaults the USA (2-0-0, 6pts) above Spain (1-1-0, 3pts) to the top of the SheBelieves Cup standings at the conclusion of the second matchday. In the day’s first game, England (1-1-0, 3pts) bounced back with a 1-0 win vs. Japan (0-2-0, 0pts), the USA’s final tournament foe. The U.S. can win its third SheBelieves Cup title with a win or draw vs. Japan on Wednesday.
In highly technical and physical match reminiscent of the teams’ meeting in the Round of 16 at last summer’s World Cup in France, the two teams traded periods of control and offensive chances throughout the match with the USA’s mentality no doubt helping the home side keep up the pressure until late into the game when the lone goal was scored.
Both goalkeepers were tested in the evenly played match with the USA’s Alyssa Naeher, who also received the help of the woodwork in keeping the visitors at bay in the first half, making a trio of saves and Spain’s Sandra Paños matching her. The two GK’s influence went well beyond the stat sheet as both organized stout defenses and claimed their share of the 24 total crosses and corner kicks that were sent into their penalty areas.
While Spain’s methodical approach gave them the edge in possession, the USA’s incisive attack created numerous and more dangerous chances. New Jersey native Carli Lloyd was on the receiving end of two plumb opportunities near the end of the opening half but couldn’t get full power behind her efforts to test Paños.
The second half saw the USA assert itself from the first minute with Rose Lavelle smashing a long drive just over the bar before Samantha Mewis drew a top-drawer save from Paños with a swerving effort from distance that was bound for the top left corner.
With the 70-minute mark approaching, U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski made three incisive substitutions, bringing on Christen Press for Megan Rapinoe – which proved to be the crucial switch – as well as Tobin Heath for Lloyd and Lindsey Horan for Samantha Mewis.
Next on the Schedule: The 2020 SheBelieves Cup concludes at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas on the final matchday that features Spain and England going head to head in the day’s first game (4:15 p.m. CT; ESPN3) before the USA faces Japan with the tournament title at stake (7 p.m. CT; ESPNews, TUDNextra1).
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
USA – Julie Ertz (Christen Press), 87th minute: From near the left sideline, Press whipped a perfectly placed free kick into the left side of Spain’s penalty area. Having started her run outside the box, Ertz split two defenders and timed her jump perfectly to send a powerful header from eight yards away past Paños, who could not keep out the shot despite getting a glove to it. The ball flew into the upper left side of the net, sparking a wild celebration from the U.S. players and the fans.
USA 1, ESP 0 [WATCH] FINAL
- The USWNT is 3-0-0 all-time vs. Spain.
- The USA is 9-2-3 all time in SBC play.
- The U.S. is unbeaten in its last 14 matches in all competitions against European nations, winning the last 12 in a row by an aggregate score of 32-5.
- The USWNT is unbeaten on home soil over its last 47 matches, 42 wins and five draws.
- The USA is riding a 30-game unbeaten streak and has scored two or more goals in 26 of those games.
- Nine players have scored so far for the USA in 2020: Press (6), Horan (6), Mewis (4), Williams (2), Lavelle (2), McDonald (2), Lloyd (2), Heath and Ertz.
- Crystal Dunn, who wore the captain’s armband as is tradition for USWNT players celebrating having earned 100 caps for the team, is the only player to start every game so far this year for the USA.
- Eight of the 11 U.S. starters also started against Spain in the Round of 16 match at the 2019 World Cup (Emily Sonnett, Lynn Williams and Carli Lloyd did not start in the WC).
- The match marked the fourth sell-out in the last five matches for the USWNT at Red Bull Arena, with the fifth falling just a few hundred tickets short of capacity.
– U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Spain
Date: March 8, 2020
Competition: SheBelieves Cup
Venue: Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.
Attendance: 26,500 (Sellout)
Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET
Weather: 58 degrees, Sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
ESP 0 0 0
USA – Julie Ertz (Christen Press) 87th minute
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 14-Emily Sonnett, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Crystal Dunn; 8-Julie Ertz, 13-Lynn Williams (22-Jessica McDonald, 90), 16-Rose Lavelle, 3-Samantha Mewis (9-Lindsey Horan, 71), 15-Megan Rapinoe (23-Christen Press, 67); 10-Carli Lloyd (17-Tobin Heath, 67)
Substitutes not used: 2-Mallory Pugh, 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Andi Sullivan, 11-Ali Krieger, 12-Tierna Davidson, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 20-Casey Short, 21-Adrianna Franch
Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski
ESP: 13-Sandra Pañ os; 7-Marta Corredera,4-Irene Paredes, 16-Mapi León, 2-Ona Batlle; 14-Virginia Torrecilla, 12-Patricia Guijarro (8-Maria Caldentey, 62), 9-Marta Cardona (21-Sheila Garcia, 77), 11-Alexia Putellas, 17-Lucía García (22-Alba Redondo, 87), 10-Jennifer Hermoso
Substitutions not used: 1-Lola Gallaro, 3-Ainhoa Maraza, 5-Ivana Andres, 6-Aitana Bonmati, 15-Leila Ouahabi, 18-Angela Sosa, 19-Amanada Sempedro, 20-Andrea Pereira, 22-Alba Redondo, 23-M. Asuncíon Quiñones
Head coach: Jorge Vilda
Stats Summary: USA / ENG
Shots: 9 / 9
Shots on Goal: 4 / 3
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 7 / 4
Fouls: 15 / 14
Offside: 2 / 1
Referee: Katia Garcia (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Mayte Chavez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Enedina Caudillo (MEX)
4th Official: Lucila Venegas (MEX)
Player of the Match: Julie Ertz
2020 SheBelieves Cup Standings