Wednesday February 21, 2024

USA down Japan to capture SheBelieves Cup

March 13, 2020

LOS ANGELES: Megan Rapinoe and Christen Press scored early goals and the World Champion United States beat Japan 3-1 on Wednesday to win the SheBelieves Cup friendly women’s football tournament.

Lindsey Horan added a goal in the 83rd minute to seal the victory in Frisco, Texas, which saw Vlatko Andonovski improve to 10-0 as coach of the US women.

Japan’s Mana Iwabuchi scored in the 58th minute -- the first goal allowed by the United States since they conceded two to Sweden in Andonovski’s debut as coach on November 7.

Rapinoe, who swept the individual prizes at the 2019 World Cup in leading the US to a second straight triumph, opened the scoring in the seventh minute, firing home a free kick after a foul on Lindsey Horan. Press doubled the score in the 26th, spinning on the top edge of the area and chipping over the Japanese keeper.

Iwabuchi’s goal galvanized Japan, but they were unable to find an equalizer. The match was played amid rising tension over the US women’s gender discrimination lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation.