The US Women’s National Team beat the England Lionesses 1-0 to clinch their second SheBelieves Cup in team history. This is the second time the USWNT beat England in the SheBelieves Cup. Each US victory against England during SheBelieves Cup was by the 1-0 goal result.
The only goal of the match came in the 58th min when Megan Rapinoe was given space and tried to center the ball to Alex Morgan. Rapinoe’s pass took a double deflection off England defender Millie Bright then another deflection off England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and into the net. Bardsley was attributed the goal as she was the last player to touch the ball before going into the net.
USWNT possess the majority of the first half
The Americans had the majority of possession during the first half. England's tight defense of Demi Stokes, Abbie McManus, Millie Bright and Lucy Bronze held the Americans back until late in the half. England head coach Phil Neville seemed to have a game plan of keeping England players back to defend against a dangerous American attack. As a draw, would equal England winning the SheBelieves Cup on goal differential. On the England offensive side, Fran Kirby and Bronze had a few chances for the Lionesses. England’s first shot of the night came from Toni Duggan in the second half at the 57th minute. The shot sailed wide of Alyssa Naeher’s net.
Americans Crystal Dunn, Tierna Davidson, Emily Sonnett and Abby Dahlkemper also held the back line tight. The best chance of the half for the Americans came from when Rapinoe passed the ball to the middle of the box but England was there to clear it out of danger. Mallory Pugh had a chance at the top of the box before the halftime whistle but her shot went wide. The first half ended even at 0-0.
England comes on strong after US goal
After Bradsley’s own goal in the 58th minute, England came on stronger to try to tie the match back up. Chances from Nikita Parris, Isobel Christiansen, Rachel Daly, Jill Scott and Ellen White all created chances for England. The best chance for the Lionesses came in the 87th minute off of a Christiansen set piece that found White unmarked. White’s header went off the far post and cleared out of danger by Davidson. The Lionesses went short on their few corner kicks that did not amount to much danger for the Americans. Naeher would go on to earn her 14th career shutout.
The USWNT would hold on to their 1-0 lead and go on to win the 2018 SheBelieves Cup. USA scored only 3 goals in the tournament. Defender Tierna Davidson earned the US Soccer Woman of the Match.
The next international matches for the USWNT will be on April 5 and April 8 when they host Mexico. April 5 match will be in Jacksonville, Florida at EverBank Field. April 8 match will be in Houston , Texas at BBVA Stadium.
Prior to the match, USA Soccer paid tribute to young soccer player Alyssa Alhadeff and the 16 other students killed in the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14. Family, friends and teammates of Alyssa Alhadeff were all given USA jerseys with Alhadeff's name on the back.