SheBelieves Cup: England wins, USWNT and Japan tie
The tournament now moves to Nashville on Saturday
Portland Thorns FC midfielder Tobin Heath had an assist again Japan. (Photo credit: Howard Smith/isiphotos.com)
Portland Thorns FC midfielder Tobin Heath had an assist again Japan. (Photo credit: Howard Smith/isiphotos.com)

On a cold night in Philadelphia at Talen Energy Stadium, the U.S. women’s national team had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Japan to open up their 2019 SheBelieves Cup campaign.

In similar fashion to last years tournament, Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe put the U.S. on the board early. Chicago Red Stars midfielder Julie Ertz played Portland Thorns FC midfielder Tobin Heath down the flank and Heath dribbled with pace end-line and whipped the ball across to a crashing Pinoe. Rapinoe beat Japan’s backline and knocked the ball in for the 1-0 lead in the 24th minute.

In the second half Japan equalized thanks to a one-touch strike from Emi Nakajima in the 67th minute.

In the 78th minute, Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan regained the lead for the USWNT. After subbing into the game just moments before, Utah Royals FC forward Christen Press made an immediate impact when she gained possession of the ball in the final third and crossed the ball into the path of Morgan. This was Morgan’s 99th international career goal for the United States.

In stoppage time (90+1′), Japan’s Yuka Momiki finished near post past Chicago Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher to level up the game at 2-2. With the result, the U.S. and Japan both finished the day with one point in the standings of SheBelieves Cup.


Earlier in the day, England beat Brazil 2-1 to kick off the 2019 SheBelieves Cup. Beth Mead scored the game-winner for the Lionesses in the 75th minute.

Orlando Pride forward Marta set up the early magic for Brazil when she made a dynamic run into the box forcing England defender Lucy Bronze to commit to her. Bronze fouled Marta and Brazil was rewarded with penalty kick. Andressa Alves finished the penalty kick and Brazil went up 1-0 in the 16th minute.

At the beginning of the second half, Ellen White leveled the match with a far post left-footed shot. The Lionesses found their stride in the second half and Houston Dash forward Rachel Daly entered the match for England just moments before Mead’s game-winner. Mead’s shot looked like it was a dangerous cross to the far post, but the ball cruised into the upper net to seal the game at 2-1.

 

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