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The U.S. Women’s National Team scored two goals in a span of six minutes to defeat Germany 2-1 and win the 2016 SheBelieves Cup in front of a record crowd of 13,501 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton tonight. The USA finished atop the tournament standings with wins against three of the top five teams in the world.
The crowd of 13,501 set a new record for an all-women’s soccer event in South Florida, breaking the previous mark of 12,031 that watched the USA play Norway in Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 6, 2000.
After scoring a stoppage-time game-winner against France on Sunday and the game-tying goal tonight, Alex Morgan (pictured above) earned the tournament’s Golden Ball and Golden Boot awards, while Hope Solo (pictured above) was awarded the Golden Glove after she allowed just one goal over three matches.
With Germany needing just a draw or win to claim the tournament title, Anja Mittag’s long-range tally in the 29th minute left the USA needing two goals to win the competition. The response was almost immediate. Morgan evened the score with a sublime bit of skill six minutes after Germany had taken the lead as she nodded the ball over a German defender before volleying home a quite stunning goal.
Samantha Mewis (pictured above) scored the title-clenching goal just six minutes after in her first start of the competition. Mewis dispossessed Germany’s Melanie Behringer in the midfield and unleashed a low left-footed shot that deflected off a defender and slipped under diving German goalkeeper Almuth Schult.
The U.S. WNT returns to action in April when it squares off against Colombia in a pair of East Coast matches on April 6 in East Hartford, Connecticut (7 p.m. ET, FS1) and April 10 in Chester, Pennsylvania (2 p.m. ET, ESPN).
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (5-Kelley O’Hara, 80), 6-Whitney Engen, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 7-Meghan Klingenberg (8-Julie Johnston, 90+1); 3-Samantha Mewis (22-Lindsey Horan, 61), 14-Morgan Brian, 12-Christen Press (2-Mallory Pugh, 61), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 16-Crystal Dunn (17-Tobin Heath, 61); 13-Alex Morgan
Subs not used: 9-Heather O’Reilly, 15-Emily Sonnett, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 19-Jaelene Hinkle, 20-Lauren Barnes, 21-Alysssa Naeher,
Head coach: Jill Ellis
GER: 1-Almuth Schult; 4-Leonie Maier, 3-Saskia Bartusiak (capt.), 14-Babett Peter, 22-Tabea Kemme (16-Svenja Huth, 74); 15-Anna Blässe, 10-Dzsenifer Marozsan, 7-Melanie Behringer (20-Lena Goeßling, 74), 17-Isabel Kerschowski (19-Lena Petermann, 84); 11-Anja Mittag (9-Mandy Islacker, 84), 18-Alexandra Popp
Subs not used: 12-Laura Benkarth, 21- Lisa Weiß, 2-Josephine Henning, 5-Annike Krahn, 6-Lina Magull, 24-Sara Doorsoun
Head Coach: Silvia Neid
In the earlier game of the evening, England drew 0-0 with France. England finished in third place with a better “goals for” statistic than France who failed to score in any of their three games of the tournament.
More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com