The #SheBelieves Cup comes to a conclusion tonight. With one match left three of the four nations in contentions still have a shot at winning. Japan, England and the United States all have a shot to lift a trophy tonight.
A Fiery Finish:
With the tournament coming to a close tonight, there are three scenarios that could play out; all of which would crown a different champion.
Scenario one comes from the first match of the night. England takes on Japan. Both nations have four points in the standings, so if one of the nations comes out on top in this match they will win the tournament.
The second scenario can be played out in both matches. If Japan and England end in a draw, but the USWNT fails to beat last place Brazil, then Japan will emerge victorious.
Scenario three is one that USWNT fans will like. If the England-Japan game ends in a tie, USA have a window of opportunity where they could be champions. All they’ll have to do is beat Brazil, and finish ahead of Japan on goal difference. While this is the scenario that requires the most movement, at least there’s a chance!
The finish to this tournament is coming in hot, but how did we get here?
A recap of matches one and two:
In the first matches one Brazil took on England, and USA played England in Chester, PA. Brazil took an early lead on England in their match, only to see their work undone by two England goals in the second half. The Lionesses emerged victorious. The US then took on Japan; the two nations swapped goals, including Japan’s tying goal at the death of the match. Japan’s 90+1 minute equalizer meant both they and the USWNT split points.
The second matches saw Brazil and Japan square off, and England take on USA. Japan took a first half lead against Brazil, and while the Brazilian’s tried to rally back in the second half, two late goals from Japan sealed their win. Japan won the match 3-1. USA took on England in a thrilling match. The two sides both scored in the first half, and England took a lead in the second half; the USWNT roared back to tie the game and it finished 2-2.
Here’s a look at where everyone stands after the first two matches:
Now, it all comes down to the final match day to see who will be the 2019#SheBelieves champion!
The USWNT can still come out on top:
For the USWNT 2019 has looked a little different than 2018 did. In 2018 the United States did not lose a single match. Then they dropped their first match of 2019, a 3-1 loss to World Cup 2019 hosts France. In a year where the games are building up to a World Cup, the US look to be on rocky footing, even with heavy roster rotations.
Two draws in their first two matches at the #SheBelieves Cup put the US in a tough position to win the competition, but there’s still a chance! While things are not fully in the USWNT hands, should they be given an opportunity they can snatch it right up.
Since the US need a draw to stay alive, different variations of how the US can win the tournament tonight. Should the Japan-England game end 0-0, then the US would need a 2-0 win to become champions. This means any other draw variation would result in the US needing more goals A
1-1 draw = the US needing a 3-0 win; a 2-2 draw = the US needing a 4-0 win, and so on.
US fans should be hoping for a 0-0 contest in the first match of the night and for the US to win by at least two goals. If they can do that, then they will continue on as the reigning champions of the #SheBelieves Cup!
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Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports