The SheBelieves Cup wrapped up play tonight with both games able to the determine final standings. Heading into the games France, England, and the U.S. were all in contention to win the tournament whereas Germany was unable to finish first.
The first game between Germany and England proved to be evenly matched. The back-and-forth game saw opportunities for both teams to score multiple goals, but saves from the goalkeepers and saves from the crossbars kept the ball out of the net for the majority of the game.
But then in the 44th minute, right before the teams went into halftime, Germany was able to build their attack. A few quick passes from Germany in England’s defensive half eventually got to Anja Mittag’s foot inside the box, and she slid the ball into the right side netting, putting Germany on the score sheet. That goal would be enough for Germany to hold on and defeat England, 1-0.
With England no longer able to vie for the top spot, the winner of the SheBelieves Cup would come down to either France or the U.S. The U.S. would need to win to lift the hardware for the second year in a row.
France came out of the gates attacking and looking to take an early lead on the USWNT. The U.S. were able to keep France at bay until the 7th minute when France’s forward Eugenie Le Sommer outran the United State’s back line, and goalkeeper, Alyssa Naeher, had to come off her line and foul the forward, granting France a penalty kick. Camille Abily stepped up to the spot and buried her shot into the left corner of the net, giving France an early lead. A mere two minutes later, Le Sommer was once again on the attack, but this time she was able to convert and gave France the 2-0 lead.
France would carry the 2-0 lead into the half. The USA had some bright spots and half chances at goal, but France looked like the better team all night and continued to put pressure on the American defense all game. Another attack saw a perfectly placed cross meet the foot of Abily, and she netted her second goal of the game. The U.S. looked to create chances and try and at least muster up one goal, but they were shutout for the second game in a row. Kelley O’Hara from Sky Blue FC got her first minutes of the tournament when she came into the game in the 78th minute for Carli Lloyd.
The 3-0 France victory was enough to crown Les Bleues the champions of the SheBelieves Cup. France finished in first with 7 points, Germany came in second with 4 points, England got third with 3 points and the USWNT finished a disappointing fourth place with 3 points (England placed ahead of the U.S. based on goal differential).
The USA did experiment with lineups and personnel throughout the tournament, but they only had one goal for and four goals against. The USWNT will be unsatisfied with not repeating their SheBelieves title, but will look to bounce back in their upcoming friendlies against Russia on April 6 and 9.