USA Draws Japan while England Tops Brazil to Open SheBelieves Cup

USA Draws Japan while England Tops Brazil in Opener of SheBelieves Cup

The U.S. Women’s National Team opened the 2019 SheBelieves Cup with a 2-2 tie against Japan in front of 14,555 fans at Talen Energy Stadium.

On a cold night, both teams began the game with quality possession while playing at pace, but the USA was able to create more dangerous opportunities in the attacking third, a theme that held up for the entire 90 minutes.

Japan nearly began the scoring in the 11th minute when Kumi Yokoyama hit the crossbar from the right side of the penalty area. However, it was the USA that broke through in the 23rd minute thanks to a great run from Tobin Heath down the right side all the way to the end line. With the Japanese goalkeeper at the near post, Heath played a cross on the ground to Megan Rapinoe and she smoothly finished into the open net.

The USA made a planned substitution at halftime with Emily Sonnett coming on for Kelley O’Hara and continued pressing for another goal, but Japan equalized in the 67th minute on a nice finish from Emi Nakajima. The goal came on Japan’s first shot on goal of the game.

Christen Press, who came into the game in the 75th minute, made an immediate impact and provided the crucial assist for Alex Morgan’s 99th career goal, which she netted in the 76th minute, to put the USA up 2-1.

As time ticked down, it looked as though the USA would see out the game comfortably, but after a delay in the match due to an injury to the assistant referee, five minutes of time were added and got a final chance to tie the match.

A turnover led to Yui Hasegawa getting loose in the left side of the box she rolled the ball across the goal to the back post for Yuka Momiki who roofed the equalizer over a diving Alyssa Naher in the 91st minute, pulling the game even 2-2. The USA has a few late before the final whistle but could not create another goal.

In the first game of the day, England overcame a first half penalty kick from Andressa to defeat Brazil by a 2-1 score to open its 2019 SheBelieves Cup campaign with three points. 

Brazil got on the board first when six-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta raced into the penalty area in the 15th minute and won the penalty kick that was converted by Andressa, but England equalized in the 49th minute after Fran Kirby assisted Ellen White’s equalizer just four minutes into the second half. Kirby again provided the assist in the 75th minute on Beth Mead’s stunning shot across the face of the goal into the left side netting for the game-winner.
 

2019 SheBelieves Cup Standings

Team

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

Pts.

England

1

1

0

0

2

1

1

3

Japan

1

0

0

1

2

2

0

1

United States

1

0

0

1

2

2

0

1

Brazil

1

0

1

0

1

2

0

0

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September 11, 2020: Major League Soccer has announced the 2020 regular season schedule through the end of September. From September 18-27, each MLS club will compete in three regular season matches. Additional 2020 MLS regular season matches will be announced pending further developments regarding travel protocols. Attendance at matches will be determined in accordance with applicable state and local guidelines.