The U.S. Women's National Team opened its 2018 SheBelieves Cup campaign with a 1-0 victory against the No. 2 FIFA-ranked Germany in front of a crowd of 14,591 fans despite the cold, rainy weather on Thursday night at MAPFRE Stadium. The win against Germany was the third in as many tournament appearances, with the WNT previously defeating the Germans 2-1 in the inaugural SheBelieves Cup in 2016 and 1-0 last year.
Germany had a few solid chances early in the match, putting pressure on USA netminder Alyssa Naeher. However, the U.S. WNT would strike first in the 17th minute of action.
The goal-scoring play started with Naeher coming off her line to scoop up a deflected ball, then quickly punting the ball upfield for a counter-attack. Alex Morgan one-time flicked the ball forward to split the Germany backline and towards a sprinting Megan Rapinoe. She outran her defender and struck the ball one-time between the German goalkeeper Almuth Schult's legs and into the back of the net for the early lead.
In the second half, the USA was attacking against the wind, but still applied a lot of pressure to the German backline. The U.S. out-shot Germany 9-3 and was able to shutout the European side to secure the 1-0 victory.
Sky Blue FC's Carli Lloyd started the match and wore the captain's armband for team USA. The New Jersey native played for 65 minutes before being substituted. Sky Blue FC rookie Savannah McCaskill earned her second WNT cap when she came into the match for Julie Ertz in the 72nd minute.
Next, the U.S. WNT travels to Harrison, N.J. for the second match of the SheBelieves Cup at Red Bull Area, home to the MLS's New York Red Bulls. The USA will kick off against France on Sunday, March 4 at 12 p.m. ET on ESPN2, while Germany faces England for a 3 p.m. ET matchup on ESPN 3.
Earlier in the day, England dominated France in a 4-1 win, scoring three goals in the first half and setting a new SheBelieves Cup record for most goals scored in a single match (4). France avoided a shutout by scoring late in the second half, but still currently sit at the bottom of the table with a -3 goal differential. The win was England's second against France since 1974, with the first coming last summer at the UEFA Women's Euros.
England currently sits at the top of the standings, followed by the USA.
U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Germany
Date: March 1, 2018
Competition: SheBelieves Cup
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium; Columbus, Ohio
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: 37 degrees; mixed rain/snow, windy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
GER 0 0 0
USA - Megan Rapinoe (Alex Morgan) 17
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 22-Taylor Smith, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 17-Tierna Davidson, 5-Kelley O’Hara (2-Casey Short, 79); 8-Julie Ertz (21-Savannah McCaskill, 72), 9-Lindsey Horan, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.) (6-Morgan Brian, 65); 11-Mallory Pugh (12-Lynn Williams, 90+1), 13-Alex Morgan (20-Allie Long, 90+4), 15-Megan Rapinoe (16-Emily Sonnett, 86)
Substitutes: 3-Andi Sullivan, 14-Sofia Huerta, 18-Jane Campbell, 19-Crystal Dunn, 23-Christen Press, 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Jill Ellis
GER: 1-Almuth Schult, 3-Kathrin Hendrich, 4-Leonie Maier (23-Hasret Kayikci, 76), 5-Babett Peter (8-Lena Goeßling, 54), 10-Dzsenifer Marozsan (capt.), 11-Alexandra Popp, 13-Sara Däbritz, 16-Linda Dallmann (20-Lina Magull, 68), 17-Verena Faißt, 19-Svenja Huth, 22-Tabea Kemme
Substitutes: 12-Laura Benkarth, 21-Carina Schlüter, 2-Johanna Elsig, 7-Jacqueline Klasen, 9-Mandy Islacker, 14-Anna Blässe, 15-Sara Doorsoun, 26-Sharon Beck, 27-Lea Schüller
Head coach: Steffi Jones
Stats Summary: USA / GER
Shots: 14 / 7
Shots on Goal: 4 / 2
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 6 / 4
Fouls: 6 / 13
Offside: 0 / 2
GER - Alexandra Popp (caution) 75
GER - Tabea Kemme (caution) 83
Referee: Melissa Borjas (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Shirely Perello (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Yudilla Briones (MEX)
4th Official: Karitza Guerra (HON)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Alyssa Naeher