USA vs. Canada – Football Match Report – February 16, 2023
Two goals in the first half Mallory Swanson gave the United States Women win a 2-0 opening game Canada on Thursday night at the SheBelieves Cup in Orlando, Florida.
Players from both teams wore bracelets during the game in support of gender equality and transgender rights gathered at the center circle in an embrace before kick-off in a show of solidarity for a Canadian team in the middle of a labor dispute with his association ahead of the World Cup this summer.
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Swanson placed a ball in the center of the box in the 7th minute and volleyed past Canada’s Kailen Sheridan to give the USA an early lead, then took advantage of a guest defense error to put the ball in before half-time to roll open net.
The brace gave Swanson five goals in her first three games for the USA in 2023, after scoring three in two games against New Zealand in January.
Canada’s captain Christine Sinclair said the team was “mentally exhausted” after the week they’ve endured.
“Either we fight for it all and come up on fire or we come out flat. And I think you saw that first 10, 15 minutes, we came out flat,” Sinclair said.
“I think we looked like a team that was tired, a team that’s mentally exhausted and they’re up against a team, I mean, they’re world champions for a reason and you have to be at your best to compete with them . And we weren’t tonight.”
US goalie Alyssa closer kept the lead just before half-time with a save from a Janine Beckie shot from outside the box. Naeher also stopped a header from Jordyn Huitema in the 74th minute.
Her third save came in the 91st minute from a Vanessa Gilles header.
It was also a historic night for Alex Morganwho was honored before the game for her 200th cap for the national team, which came against Germany late last year.
Brazil defeated Japan 1-0 in the first game of the doubleheader. The four-team SheBelieves Cup moves to Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday, where the USA take on Japan and Canada take on Brazil. All four teams qualified for the World Cup. The United States has won the last two World Cups and has four titles in total.
“We have that in mind,” Morgan said after the game. “That’s why we’re playing these games. All we’re doing now is fighting for the World Cup.”
The Americans won the first SheBelieves Cup in 2016. France were champions in 2017 and England clinched the title in 2019. The USA is a five-time winner, including 2018 and the last three editions.
In this format, the winner is determined based on total points (three for a win, one for a tie), using tiebreakers where necessary.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.