SheBelieves Cup opens with wins for USA & Spain in Orlando

Filed under: Florida News,Orlando News,Orlando Sport,Sport,US Soccer |

The US Women’s national team opened up the 2020 SheBelieves Cup on Thursday night as they mean to go on. A powerful performance in downing England 2-0 in front of 16,531 fans in Orlando gave notice that the USA will be the team to beat when the Summer Olympics come around.

After a cagey first half, new coach Vlatko Andonovski’s team scored two goals in quick succession early on in the second period with Christen Press opening the scoring and Carli Lloyd following on a few minutes later.

What was particularly noticeable was a new style from the US, particularly in the second half as Andonovski revamped the underlying tactical approach from the Jill Ellis era. The Macedonian born American played to his teams strengths as they constantly looked to attack and to press high up the field when England had the ball. This led the visitors into numerous mistakes and plenty of opportunities to pounce for the US.

The opening goal came 8 minutes into the second half  as Lloyd spun to avoid a defender and then sent an incisive pass to the feet of Press, who turned towards goal and curled a beautiful shot past Carly Telford into the top right corner.

Lloyd then doubled the U.S. lead two minutes later as she scored from close range after a deft chip from Lindsay Horan beat the England back line. The goal put the USA in the driver’s seat and it really should have been a more convincing victory which might have been wonderfully underlined if a goal by Julie Ertz hadn’t been ruled out with just a few minutes to go. It would have been a sweet moment for the 27 yeard old Chicago Red Stars player as she became the 40th U.S. female player to hit 100 caps but it wasn’t to be.

In the earlier game, Spain pulled off something of a surprise as they defeated Japan 3-1 with goals from Alexia Putellas and a brace from Lucía García. Mana Iwabuchi got the Japanese goal.

USA :1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Crystal Dunn; 8-Julie Ertz, 16-Rose Lavelle (3-Samantha Mewis, 70), 9-Lindsey Horan; 17-Tobin Heath (13-Lynn Williams, 70), 10-Carli Lloyd (Capt.) (22-Jessica McDonald, 89), 23-Christen Press (15-Megan Rapinoe, 62)
Substitutes not used: 2-Mallory Pugh, 6-Andi Sullivan, 11-Ali Krieger, 12-Tierna Davidson, 14-Emily Sonnett, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 20-Casey Short, 21-Adrianna Franch
Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski

ENG :1-Carly Telford; 14-Leah Williamson, 6-Millie Bright (11-Toni Duggan, 71), 5-Steph Houghton (Capt.), 3-Alex Greenwood; 16-Georgia Stanway, 8-Jill Scott (10-Jordan Nobbs, 65), 4-Keira Walsh; 7-Nikita Parris (22-Chloe Kelly, 89), 18-Ellen White (9-Bethany England, 73), 20-Lauren Hemp
Substitutes not used: 2-Rachel Daly, 12-Demi Stokes, 13-Ellie Roebuck, 15-Abbie McManus, 17-Lucy Staniforth, 19-Alessia Russo, 21-Sandy Maclver, 23-Grace Fisk
Head coach: Phil Neville

Attendance: 16,531

More photos from USA v England and Japan v Spain

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