Sat, 27 Feb 2021

USWNT edges Canada 1-0 in SheBelieves Cup opener

Field Level Media
19 Feb 2021, 12:40 GMT+10

Second-half substitute Rose Lavelle scored the winning goal in the 79th minute Thursday as the U.S. women's national team defeated Canada 1-0 in both teams' first match of the SheBelieves Cup in Orlando.

Lavelle scored her 14th international goal on a right-footed shot from an assist by Lindsey Horan.

The U.S. is 32-0-3 in the past 35 games and had a 51-game home winning streak (46-0-5) but struggled until the game shifted when stalwarts Lavelle, Alex Morgan and Christen Press entered in the 63rd minute.

The U.S., the two-time defending World Cup champion, is ranked No. 1 in the world. Canada is eighth.

Canadian goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan left with an injury in the 11th minute and was replaced by Stephanie Labbe, who made six saves.

Canada got the first shot on goal of the game in the 17th minute when Vanessa Gilles put a header from Janine Beckie into the hands of goalie Alyssa Naeher.

The U.S. forced Labbe into her first save in the 32nd minute when Lynn Williams took a cross from Crystal Dunn and directed a header from 6 yards toward the top right corner.

Carli Lloyd followed three minutes later with another headed attempt, from Williams' service, but Labbe was in position to deny her.

Megan Rapinoe almost put the Americans ahead in the 62nd minute, but Labbe made the stop on a try from a sharp angle.

Unlike past tournaments which featured matches throughout the United States, all games are at Exploria Stadium in Orlando to minimize travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, there have been challenges.

Japan was supposed to join the U.S., Canada and Brazil but pulled out because of the COVID-19 concerns and was replaced by Argentina, which hadn't played in 15 months.

The Argentines were dealt a blow hours before their match Thursday vs. Brazil when four players entered COVID-19 protocol. Brazil won 4-1.

On Sunday, the U.S. plays Brazil and Argentina faces Canada.

--Field Level Media

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