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USWNT remain perfect at SheBelieves Cup after late win over Spain

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┬áHermoso’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.

Comments

  1. Spain is a very good team, and was, in the W/C last year. During the Group Phase, they were statistically even with Germany in a match they lost 1-0. In the match against the U.S. in the 1st knockout round, the U.S. needed the benefit of 2 PK calls to eke out a 2-1 win. To put how well Spain played into perspective, I have been following the USWNT closely since the 91 W/C and I can never remember a match where the opposition held a 2-1 advantage in time of possession. In the end, the U. S. had more fire-power up front, and that was the difference. But Spain may be the most disciplined team in women’s soccer today, and if they can bring a dominant striker on board, they could be the next #1 team.

    A special congrats should be given to Alyssa Naeher for taking care of business around the goal. There was enough drama there last night to give even the strongest of USWNT fans an anxiety attack!!!

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  2. hey Ives and whoever else is reading this, here’s what I saw. US came out with 4 3 3 pressure that dropped to a 4 1 4 1 at midfield. With Williams on the filed I would expect some pressure type D. Williams was able to get to some spaces but her final balls missed usually and the good ones lacked a finishing runner. But she cleaned that up 2nd half, tough to do so credit to her, 2nd game in a row I think she’s done that after slow start. But I think Vlatko may review the tactical choices and adjust for next time when it comes; thinking the USA could pressure Spain for goals and play so direct on the counter didn’t work and Spain may literally have switched the point of attack more times on certain possessions than the US did all game. And Spain squishes the field committing weakside to the ball defensively so even one point of attack switch to help transition opens things up, and then when Spain over recovers those gaps inside were there. Spain put on a clinic with this, getting into the diamond and quickly switching. Anyway, Vilda also appeared to have figured out the 4 3 3/4 1 4 1 discussed above, great adjustment at half time to look to possess the ball at mid field looking to catch the US d in between, chess match stuff, fun. Still a cool win, and for me, with an adjusted lineup and tactics, an even better opportunity for the US to win. Credit Vilda and Spain for executing their game plan yet still came up short

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    • Good Breakdown BB. Yeah, if and when the U. S. next plays Spain, they will need to keep the pressure on a little more in Spain’s end because once they got into a rhythm moving down field, they could work the ball into scoring position. I expect Spain to do well at Euro
      21 and they could win it.

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