The first matches of the SheBelieves cup began on Thursday afternoon, with both matches seeing current and former Orlando Pride players playing and contributing.
In the early match, Brazil took until the 30th minute to start their scoring, but ended up winning 4-1 over Argentina. Meanwhile the USWNT took until the 79th to find their winning goal to beat Canada.
Brazil handily beat Argentina 4-1, Marta scores
It was a slow start for the Brazilian women against Argentina in the first match of the day. It wasn’t until the 30th minute that Brazil earned a penalty, with team captain Marta burying it to put her team up 1-0.
The early second half saw an outpouring of goals just minutes after the whistle blew. Debinha doubled the lead in teh 47th minute, then Adriana put them up 3-0 just seven minutes later. Argentina would pull one back thanks to Mariana Larroquette, but Geyse Ferreira would score a fourth for Brazil to seal the match away for the Seleçao Femenina.
USWNT win 1-0 thanks to Rose Lavelle
Despite missing a multitude of contributors due to injury or other reasons, the Canada National team held their own and created problems for the USWNT throughout the match. Early on, it looked like more injury concerns for Canada as starting keeper Kailen Sheridan went down with injury, forcing Stephanie Labbé to step in just 10 minutes into the match.
Through the first 45 minutes, Labbé and her teammates shut down the US’ high-powered offense, while creating chances of their own. Most of the match was a very back and forth affair, with both teams coming close down the stretch. The tone of the match shifted in the 64th minute when Christen Press, Rose Lavelle and Orlando Pride’s Alex Morgan came into the game as substitutes. Their energy and speed began to create a multitude of opportunities on the offensive end for the US until finally in the 78th minute, Lavelle managed to capitalize on a set piece for the US, hitting the ball near post, beating Labbé and putting her team up, a score that would hold until full time.
“I think we did well. Going down the middle was not the way to go,” USWNT Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski said after the match. “They overloaded the middle and did a great job of defending defending in the middle that they always had numerical superiority in the middle. And if you look at it, the chances that they created or the chances that they had was after we lost the ball in the middle. It wasn’t because they broke us down, we lost a ball in the middle, and then went straight down towards our goal. But I thought that the space was on the side and when we went on the side, especially when we switched the point of attack quick, we were able to come up with it a shot or a decent cross the majority of the time.”
The next round of SheBelieves Cup matches will be on Sunday, February 21st, when the USWNT and Brazil face off at 3:00 pm, while Argentina takes on Canada at 6:00.
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