BEVERLY HILLS, February 22, (THEWILL) – The United States Women’s National Team, the USWNT, currently the World Cup holders, has been topping podiums, making waves and racking up hardware as they demonstrate the grit and determination that is their hallmark.
In the ongoing SheBelieves Cup, the women exhibited these traits again against a tough set of Canada’s women’s national team on Friday with a lone goal victory. And, on Sunday, Brazil, like Canada before them, gave the United States women’s national team all it could handle. Yet, just like Canada, Brazil still lost.
When the final whistle went, the USWNT had triumphed by a 2-0 victory, which was led by a first-half goal from forward Christen Annemarie Press and a second-half clincher by world cup superstar winger and team captain Megan Rapinoe.
The 32-year-old Press broke the deadlock with her 11th minute goal from a United States counter attacking play. She accepted the pass with a beautiful turn to free herself from a covering defender and scored through a strike that favoured placement and direction over power.
The Brazilians took going behind in their stride as the team came into its own the more the first half progressed. They harassed the Americans with their traditional aggressive play and deep pressing line. As always, the American defense held strongly against the regular quick counterattack moves of their South American opponents, who also remained dangerous in open spaces.
The early goal, rather than rattle the Seleção, proved to have stimulated them into action which they showed by the complete lack of intimidation in their football. The rode on that momentum in search of an equaliser to quickly balance the one-sided ascendancy. They levelling goal remained elusive even into the second period.
Although a second goal came in the game, it was unfortunately not for Brazil. Instead, it was the legendary 35-year-old captain Rapinoe that found the back of the net to put a stop on the proceedings, once and for all.
There were goal opportunities in this game for Brazil to take home at least a point for their efforts at the SheBelieves Cup against the USWNT. They were left to rue not claiming these chances and of not asking enough questions for the United States to answer in defense, which still showed room for improvement.Sgtill, a 2-0 win against Brazil is a great result.
Now, the USWNT has only one more game to conclude its SheBelieves Cup campaign. It will be a Wednesday fixture against another South American football powerhouse for male and female football reckoning, Argentina at 7PM ET. If they win or draw, they will have succeeded in defending the Cup after winning it the last time. By goal differential, they can also clinch the trophy if they lose.
The USWNT has won the SheBelieves Cup thrice before. A win here will make it a fourth Cup triumph since the inception of the tournament in 2016 and second successive victory.
Brazil will face Canada, who beat the women from Argentina on Monday, earlier that same day at 4 p.m. ET.