USWNT advances 2-1 to SheBelieves Cup finale with victory over Japan


ATLANTA, Georgia — You can also find out more about the following: United States Women’s national team defeat Japan 2-1 in the SheBelieves Cup Semi-final on Saturday afternoon. The semifinal will be held on Saturday afternoon. USWNT The winner of the game between Canada You can also find out more about the following: Brazil.

The USWNT won a major victory, but they were caught off-guard at the start. Kiko Seike scored for Japan in the first 30 seconds, giving U.S. Soccer fans some déjà vu after a similar thing happened to the men’s side in the recent Nations League semifinal against Jamaica.

It was not a good start. Then, in the 18th minutes, Naomi Girma had to leave the match due to injury. She never returned. Twila Kilgore stated that Girma would be evaluated for a thigh injury in the right leg and that they would have more information shortly.

But the U.S. reacted energetically to that adversity. Jaedyn Shaw Captain scored a banger at the 21st-minute mark. Lindsey Horan Later, he converted a penalty kick that won the game. 

I think we were caught off guard [with Japan’s early goal]Sophia Smith, after the match said: “Our response is most important.” “I think we put it behind us and moved forward, played the game that we know how to, and got the result we desired.”

The USWNT has also seen the return of both Mallory Swanson You can also find out more about the following: Catarina MacarioThe forwards have been waiting for a long time after their respective injuries to play again for the national team. Swanson was the starter, while Macario entered in the 78th.

This was the USWNT’s sixth different lineup in seven 2024 games. Kilgore and Emma Hayes are experimenting with various player combinations ahead of the Paris Olympics, which begins in July.

Here are some key takeaways from the match.

Play the game

Shaw scored an incredible goal in the 21st, when the USWNT was already down 1-0, after Japan scored just 30 seconds into the game. Sam Coffey The rising star, Shaw, won the ball in the air, then made a short, precise pass to her, who was waiting for it at the top corner of the box. Then, she sent a powerful shot into the goal. The strike was so quick, Japan’s goalkeeper had no time to react. Her feet were stuck on the line while she watched the ball fly past her.

Shaw won the Concacaf W Gold Cup that the U.S. won in last month’s Concacaf W Gold Cup. With her goal, Shaw is the first USWNT player in history to score five goals in her first five starts.

Players are battling to convince each other why they should be invited to the Paris Olympics in this summer. Only 18 players can be selected for the roster – as opposed to the 23 players who make up the World Cup roster – so a lot of talent will inevitably be left behind.

Shaw has played at the No. Shaw has played in the USWNT at the positions of No. 7, 11 and on Saturday, she played the position of No. 10, which is where she often stars for the San Diego Wave. She often plays the No. 10 role for the San Diego Wave. 

Kilgore stated that “this is something really important as we develop a roster for Olympics and think about versatility, and things like that.”[It’s important that] “We can give people the experience they need to play multiple positions when there are only 16 players in a field.”

Kilgore continued: “I want to highlight that she not only scored a brilliant goal and was part of many very effective buildups but she also did a great defensive job.” Again, this is a place where she has taken on a challenge, and is still growing, and it makes a big difference for the team.

Turning point

Smith was fouled inside the box in the 76th, earning a free kick. Horan took the penalty kick and hit a low ball perfectly into the left corner. 

Horan’s fourth USWNT goal of the season gave the squad their winning 2-1 result.

Key Stat No. 1

Swanson was making her first USWNT start since she ruptured her patella tendon nearly exactly a year earlier. According to U.S. Soccer it had been 364 day since she played for the American team.

Before her injury last year – sustained in a friendly against the Republic of Ireland – Swanson was in the form of her life. Swanson only played in six matches last year because of her injury. She still led the USWNT in goals with seven. Four of those came at the SheBelieves Cup 2023, where she was named MVP.

Swanson’s impact on the team was immediate. She was in lockstep on the left wing with Jenna Nighswonger, was the recipient of the majority of passes from Horan, and was able to wiggle past Japanese defenders and try to create opportunities. She had quite a few dangerous chances. Smith, who had worked hard to beat her defender, tapped the ball to Swanson in the 72nd minute. However, her shot was wide. Swanson looked visibly frustrated during a few of these moments.

Swanson played her first match with the National Team after a brutal injury that had kept her out for nearly a whole year. She’s on her way back to top form.

Key Stat No. 2:

The USWNT’s friendly match on Saturday was attended by 50,644, the largest crowd in USWNT history to play at home. The USWNT home game on Saturday was watched by the largest crowd since the World Cup final in 1999.

What’s Next for the USWNT

The USWNT and the winner of Canada vs Brazil’s next match will meet in the SheBelieves Cup championship final on Tuesday, in Columbus, Ohio.

The U.S. defeated Canada in the Gold Cup semi-finals after a penalty shootout, on a waterlogged field. They then defeated Brazil by a 1-0 margin in the final. It will be a fierce rematch, regardless of who USWNT faces.

Laken Lithman covers college football for FOX Sports, as well as college basketball and soccer. She has written for Sports Illustrated as well as USA Today and The Indianapolis Star. She is the co-author of “Strong Like a Woman,” due to be published in the spring of 2022 as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Title IX. Follow her Twitter @LakenLitman.

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