England knew a draw would give it a first SheBelieves Cup. The Lionesses just had to hold to the USWNT at bay in Orlando on Wednesday.
Megan Rapinoe’s deflected cross was bungled by England in one of the worst tournament winning goals you’ll ever see.
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A draw would’ve given England the title. The U.S. won the inaugural SheBelieves Cup in 2016, and France won the second edition last year.
France toppled Germany 3-0 earlier Wednesday to finish third with four points, with the Germans finishing dead last with a single point.
The USWNT was better money for the opening goal with Alex Morgan and Mallory Pugh especially lively in the first 45 minutes.
Pugh hit the outside of the post just before halftime as the USWNT aimed to go into the room with momentum.
The U.S. found the winner shortly after halftime. The box score doesn’t show how you scored them, and Rapinoe won’t care much anyway.
Mallory Pugh’s goal off a 35th minute scrum helped hosts USWNT to a 1-1 draw against France in its second match of the 2018 SheBelieves Cup.
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The U.S. won the first SheBelieves Cup, and France won the 2017 edition.
The Sunday match was the front end of a doubleheader, with Germany and England up next.
Pugh punched a shot off Sarah Bouhaddi and into the goal a few moves after a Megan Rapinoe free kick to restore a deadlock that would last the match.
Her third goal of the year came just before Eugenie Le Sommer scored a beauty for France, the only way the visitors could overcome a fine performance from goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
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The United States women’s national team joined Phil Neville‘s England women’s NT as Day One winners at the SheBelieves Cup on Thursday in Columbus.
World No. 3 England gave manager Neville a heck of a debut, scoring thrice in the first half en route to a 4-1 defeat of France, who won the 2017 SheBelieves Cup.
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Fran Kirby and Jill Scott each had a goal and an assist for England, while Toni Duggan and Jodi Taylor also scored before Gaëtane Thiney ruined the clean sheet with 13 minutes to play.
The former Manchester United and Everton legend’s appointment has been much scrutinized, as he’s never had the top chair in his managerial career.
The snowy nightcap saw the No. 1 USWNT facing No. 2 Germany, and the Yanks started in style. A long Alyssa Naeher clearance was flicked toward the German 18 by Alex Morgan, and Megan Rapinoe’s side-foot effort was enough to get the Yanks on the board.
That’s all the Yanks would need in their bid to retake the tournament’s bragging rights after winning the first edition in 2016.
The tournament shifts to New Jersey for Sunday matches between the U.S. and France (Noon ET), Germany and England (3 p.m. ET).
France and Germany then meet Wednesday in Orlando (4 p.m. ET), with the U.S. wrapping up the tournament versus England (7 p.m. ET)