The SheBelieves Cup Day 2 showed one team break from the pack, two teams who are hanging on by a thread, and another team knocked out of the competition. Let’s look back on all the actions that took place on matchday two.
She Believes Cup Day 2
On day two there was a huge matchup between Brazil and the USA. The winner of that match would distance themselves from the pack. Argentina and Canada played in a match that would prove to be one that would allow one team to hold on by a thread, and send the other one home. The USA bested Brazil scoring two goals. Canada left it late but found a second-half stoppage-time winner to stay alive and send Argentina home. Let’s dive into these games starting with the USA-Brazil match.
USWNT best Brazil 2-0
The USWNT and Brazil faced off in a matchup of the two strongest sides in the tournament. Brazil came off a four-goal high-flying performance against Argentina, while the US beat Canada 1-0 while not playing their best. This match showed the USWNT was able to top the best of their competition.
It was clear from the beginning that this would be a free-flowing match. The X-factor would be the team that would be able to stop shots on goal. Early on, the USWNT showed that their attack was ruthless. Christen Press scored just 11 minutes in off of an amazing move and shot that baffled the Brazilian defense. After that goal, Brazil pressed hard to hit the US on the counterattack. Unfortunately for them, there were few quality chances that came from that approach.
As the match progressed Brazil found opportunities to shoot, but they couldn’t put those shots on net. Throughout the match, Brazil created 10 shots, but only two of those were on net. Similarly, the USWNT was able to record 17 shots, but only put five on goal. Luckily two of those shots went in. The second goal came from Megan Rapinoe in the 88th minute. This killed any hopes of a Brazillian effort to tie the match. In the end, this result showed that the USWNT is above the entire field in this tournament, even when they aren’t playing their best soccer.
Canada eliminate Argentina 1-0
In a match of the two teams who lost on day one, Canada was seen as huge favorites against the scrappy Argentinian side. Canada’s efforts in their first match saw them finish just behind the USA, as they lost 1-0. For Argentina, they lost to their heated rivals Brazil by four goals. The two met in a match that was close on the scoreboard but not in the stats.
In this match Canada totally outplayed Argentina. They held 63% of possession, completed 81% of their passes, and attempted almost 200 more passes. Argentina was set to sit in and look for counterattacking opportunities. There were very few options for the South American side as they only produced seven shots and three shots on target. So why wasn’t Canada able to have its domination shows on the scoreboard?
The answer lies in Canada’s ability to create quality chances. They didn’t for much of the match. Canada had 17 shots in the match, but only five of those were on target. One of those five shots was the eventual winning goal in second-half stoppage time. Canada got the right bounce late in the match. Because of this, they stay alive heading into the last match, while Argentina is now eliminated with one match still to play.
The final day will produce the winner
The final day of the competition is coming up on Wednesday, Feb. 24. The USWNT has a leg up on Brazil and Canada and takes on Argentina the only side eliminated. A draw or a win would give them the SheBelieves Cup.
As for Brazil and Canada, they play each other and can only tie the USWNT on points. This means that if the USWNT were to lose to Argentina, then Brazil or Canada would need to win and have a better goal differential than the USA.
The final day will soon be upon us! Could it be drama-filled, or will the favorites bring it home once again?
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Mandatory Credit: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire