The U.S. Women's National Team won the third annual SheBelieves Cup on Wednesday evening after a 1-0 victory over England in front of 12,351 fans at Orlando City Stadium.
Both teams struggled to connect in the final third during the first half, but the USA eventually found its rhythm and created several late scoring chances to try and take a lead into the locker room.
In the 43rd minute, Megan Rapinoe worked her way down the left side of the box towards goal before getting a cross off. England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley was able to get a hand on it and redirect the ball away from the awaiting Americans in front of the goalmouth.
A minute later, Mallory Pugh gained possession in the offensive third and beat several English players before ripping a shot that went just wide left of the goal. At the break, the match remained scoreless.
In the second half, Pugh continued to force Bardsley to make key saves to keep England's hopes alive of claiming the SheBelieves Cup title. However, the deadlock would finally break in the 58th minute.
Rapinoe once again made her way down the left flank and sent a hard cross into the box. A miscommunication between Bardsley and defender Millie Bright resulted in a deflected ball by Bright hitting Bardsley's leg and bouncing into the back of the net for an own goal.
England applied more pressure as time was running out, and almost scored the equalizer late in the contest. After Carli Lloyd committed a foul just outside the right side of the box, England went short on the free-kick. A service into the box was headed towards goal by Ellen White, but it hit off the left post and was cleared away by USA defender Tierna Davidson before Jill Scott could follow it up.
At the final whistle, the own goal would prove to be the difference maker as the U.S. WNT claimed its second SheBelieves Cup title in three years. Naeher earned her 14th career shutout in the victory.
Lloyd, who is a member of Sky Blue FC, earned her 250th cap for USA. She is one of six players to reach this benchmark in U.S. WNT history.
In the first contest of the day, France defeated Germany 3-0 in what was the final match for both teams at the 2018 SheBelieves Cup. Amandine Henry scored a first half screamer, and second-half scores from Eugenie Le Sommer and Valerie Gauvin sealed the victory.
The win cemented a third-place finish for France - a year after winning the tournament - behind England, both of whom earned 1-1-1 records. Germany rounded out the final standings with an 0-2-1 finish.
Next up for team USA is a pair of friendlies against CONCACAF neighbor Mexico on April 5 (7 p.m. ET; FS1) in Jacksonville, Fla. at EverBank Field and on April 8 (1:30 p.m. ET; FOX) in Houston, Texas at BBVA Stadium.
U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. England
Date: March 7, 2018
Competition: SheBelieves Cup
Venue: Orlando City Stadium; Orlando, Fla.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: 68 degrees; clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
ENG 0 0 0
USA - Own goal (Karen Bardsley) 58th minute
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 16-Emily Sonnett, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 17-Tierna Davidson, 19-Crystal Dunn; 20-Allie Long (14-Sofia Huerta, 74), 9-Lindsey Horan (6-Morgan Brian, 74), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 11-Mallory Pugh (12-Lynn Williams, 90+2), 13-Alex Morgan, 15-Megan Rapinoe (21-Savannah McCaskill, 80)
Substitutes: 2-Casey Short, 3-Andi Sullivan, 5-Kelley O’Hara, 8-Julie Ertz, 18-Jane Campbell, 22-Taylor Smith, 23-Christen Press, 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
ENG: 1-Karen Bardsley; 2-Lucy Bronze, 15-Abbie McManus, 6-Millie Bright, 3-Demi Stokes (12-Hannah Blundell, 87); 22-Keira Walsh (8-Jill Scott 86), 16-Izzy Christiansen; 19-Mel Lawley (11-Toni Duggan, 52), 10-Fran Kirby (17-Rachel Daly, 75), 18-Ellen White; 9-Jodie Taylor (7-Nikita Parris, 52)
Substitutes: 4-Fara Williams, 13-Siobhan Chamberlain, 14-Alex Greenwood, 20-Georgia Stanwood, 23-Gabby George
Head Coach: Phil Neville
Stats Summary: USA / ENG
Shots: 8 / 6
Shots on Goal: 2 / 0
Saves: 0 / 2
Corner Kicks: 5 / 4
Fouls: 8 / 13
Offside: 0 / 7
Referee: Carol Anne Chenard (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Chantal Boudreau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephanie-Dale Yee Sing (JAM)
4th Official: Odette Hamilton (JAM)
U.S. Soccer Woman of the Match: Tierna Davidson