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US Women Win SheBelieves Cup with 2-1 Victory over Brazil

February 23, 2023

FRISCO, Texas — Alex Morgan and Mallory Swanson scored and the United States defeated Brazil 2-1 on Wednesday night to win the SheBelieves Cup for the fourth straight year.

Japan, which defeated Canada 3-0 in the earlier match at Toyota Stadium, was runner-up in the four-team, round-robin tournament. All four SheBelieves Cup teams will play in Women’s World Cup this summer in Australia and New Zealand.

Morgan’s curling goal sailed out of reach of Brazilian goalkeeper Lorena. Morgan now has five goals all-time in SheBelieves matches.

It was Morgan’s 14th goal since the birth of her daughter in 2020, giving her the national team record for most goals as a mom.

United States forward Mallory Swanson, centr, celebrates her goal with Rose Lavell (16), Anti Sullivan (17) and other teammates during the second half of a SheBelieves Cup soccer match against Brazil Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, in Frisco, Texas. The United States won 2-0. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Brazil goalkeeper Lorena alows a goal by United States forward Mallory Swanson during the second half of a SheBelieves Cup soccer match Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, in Frisco, Texas. The United States won 2-0. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

“That was huge,” Swanson said. “I think we needed it, we needed the momentum to kind of shift in our favor. (It was) Alex doing Alex things. Simple, left foot, classic. She was getting beat up all first half and ultimately she punished them.”

Swanson scored in the 63rd minute, her fourth goal of the tournament and seventh overall goal this year, matching her total of all of last year.

“I think honestly it’s been a good run. I’ve really just tried to focus on being present and just taking it day by day, game by game,” Swanson said.

Swanson, formerly Mallory Pugh, married Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson in December.

Ludmila scored in stoppage time for Brazil to avoid the shutout. It was the first goal the United States has allowed this year. The United States is undefeated in five overall matches.

United States forward Alex Morgan (13) celebrates her goal with teammates Mallory Swanson (9) and Crystal Dunn (19) during the first half of a SheBelieves Cup soccer match against Brazil, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, in Frisco, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

“We need to be on the same page. But not only when it comes to reading the game, but also the emotional game, we need to be on the same page. If we can do that, I think we’ll have a great World Cup. If we can’t, it will be very difficult. So that’s why I’m saying we have a long way to go,” Brazil coach Pia Sundhage said.

Midfielder Rose Lavelle started for the United States after missing the first two matches of the tournament with a minor injury.

Japan snapped a four-game losing streak with its win over Canada. Japan had not scored in four straight matches, including two SheBelieves games, until Kiko Seike put her team in front with a goal in the 26th minute.

Brazil forward Bia Zaneratto (16) loses her footing after a foul by United States midfielder Andi Sullivan (17) during the first half of a SheBelieves Cup soccer match Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, in Frisco, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The Canadian players, in the midst of a labor dispute with their federation, again wore purple T-shirts reading “Enough is Enough” for the anthems and they wore purple wristbands during the match.

Players for the United States also wore purple wristbands in solidarity with Canada.

The SheBelieves Cup started in 2016. The United States has won six of the eight tournaments.

“I don’t think we’re going to talk a lot about the title. We’re actually going to talk a lot about the play and the details, and we’re going to use these games to prepare for the World Cup,” U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “So that’s what is good about this, it’s not necessarily the title — obviously we enjoy winning, we enjoy winning the title — but it’s the outcome of these game is what is more important for us.”

 

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