SheBelieves Cup: USWNT defeats Canada to claim seventh title

Sophia Smith and Tierna Davidson celebrate together
Sophia Smith and Tierna Davidson of the USWNT celebrate a goal against Canada during the 2024 SheBelieves Cup at Lower.com Field on April 9, 2024 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Getty Images)

In the final match of the SheBelieves Cup, the United States faced Canada at Lower.com Field in Columbus, Ohio.

The six-time champions had reached the final with a 2-1 win over Japan in the semifinals. Bev Priestman’s Canadian side qualified for the final after beating Brazil on penalties.

Starting XIs

United States

Naeher; Dahlkemper, Shaw, Horan, Smith, Davidson, Morgan, Sonnett, Coffey, Dunn, Fox

Canada

Sheridan; Buchanan, D.Rose, Huitema, Lawrence, J.Rose, Awujo, Gilles, Beckie, Fleming, Leon

How it went

The reigning champions largely controlled the opening exchanges of the tie. A determined defensive effort by the hosts left Canada forced to defend for long spells.

Despite Priestman’s side enjoying far less possession, the visitors broke the deadlock via Adriana Leon in the 40th minute. The Aston Villa star converted a well-worked piece of play from Ashley Lawrence.

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Shortly after play resumed for the second half, Sophia Smith restored the deadlock for the US. Firing the ball home from the edge of the area, the No. 11 pulled her side back level with 49 minutes on the clock. A second goal for Smith came in the 68th minute after a clinical link-up play between the US attacking line.

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A penalty awarded to Canada in the 84th minute saw Leon step up and duly convert her spot kick to provide Priestman’s side a late lifeline. Ultimately, with nothing to separate the two sides, a penalty shootout was required to decide the champion of the tenth SheBelieves Cup.

Following a nail-biting shootout, Emily Fox bagged the winning spot kick to hand the United States its seventh SheBelieves title. With five penalties converted to Canada’s four, the finale produced one of the closest performances and results in the competition’s history.

Bronze medal match

Brazil equalled last year’s bronze medal in the competition, beating Japan on penalties. The second half ended in a one-all draw, with goals from Mina Tanaka and Cristiane sending the tie through to a penalty shootout.

Despite looking the stronger side for much of the tie, Japan failed to score any of its spot kicks. Ultimately, Brazil took the bronze medal after converting all three of its attempts.

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