The U.S. Women’s National Team were pushed and pushed by Spain at Red Bull Arena, but eventually found its breakthrough goal from Julie Ertz.
Ertz’s header in the 87th minute and her 20th career goal for the USWNT handed Vlatko Andonovski’s side a 1-0 win on Matchday 2 of the SheBelieves Cup.
Megan Rapinoe came close to opening the scoring early for the USWNT, being denied by Sandra Panos in the third minute. Rapinoe created room for a shot but struck it right at Panos who repelled the effort.
Lucia Garcia forced Alyssa Naeher into her first save of the match, before Jennifer Hermoso’s cross in the 23rd minute struck the left post. Luckily for the USWNT, Sam Mewis made the clearance before Spain could score into an empty goal.
Carli Lloyd and Alexia Putellas each had good efforts saved for both sides as the match rolled on, while Spain continued to defend strongly against the USWNT attack.
Christen Press’ introduction into the match would pay huge dividends for the USWNT as her cross was headed in by Ertz in the 87th minute. Panos looked likely to claim the effort but the header was just over the goalkeepers’ gloves and in.
Panos finished with three saves on the afternoon while Naeher made three to earn the clean sheet.
The USWNT will become SheBelieves Cup champions on Wednesday in Frisco, Texas if it earns at least a draw against Japan. Japan is coming off a 1-0 loss to England earlier in the day as Ellen White’s 83rd minute goal was all Phil Neville’s side needed to rebound from a Matchday 1 loss.