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Press leads USWNT past England, 2-0, in opening SheBelieves match

Photo copyright by Hannah di Lorenzo/The Equalizer.

There’s something about playing against England for Christen Press. Last summer, she found the back of the net against England, raised up her hands to the sky in honor of her late mother and celebrated with her teammates. She celebrated a couple days later, too, when she and her U.S. women’s national team teammates won the Women’s World Cup. It hasn’t been a full year since that semifinal match, but it was already revived on Thursday with a tilt in the SheBelieves Cup.

Press scored the United States’ opening goal in the match, which didn’t come until the 53rd minute. Press, in between two English defenders, sliced her opponents and tapped her shot past Carly Telford. Her shot didn’t go right down the middle. Instead, Press scored her goal in the upper corner of the net.

She celebrated the same way she did last summer, raising her arms up and with a big grin. Her goal produced many eccentric reactions on social media. Even Sebastian Salazar, announcing the match alongside Julie Foudy, proclaimed, “Christen Press, what have you done!?”

Press’ goal was followed up two minutes later with a Carli Lloyd goal. The United States took down England once again, this time with a clean sheet and a score of 2-0. Nikita Parris had a few chances on goal, but Alyssa Naeher scooped up every ball sent her way. Naeher finished the match with three saves to keep a clean sheet over England.

The United States will take on La Roja on Sunday at 5 p.m. EST. Beforehand, the Lionesses will take the pitch with Japan at 2 p.m. EST.

Goal Scoring Summary

  • United States (Christen Press, 53′)
  • United States (Carli Lloyd, 55′)

Caution Summary

  • None

Spain claims win in SheBelieves debut

For the first time ever, Spain is featuring in the SheBelieves Cup tournament. Spain qualified for their first-ever World Cup back in 2015 and went back to the tournament last summer. La Roja fell to the United States in the Round of 16, and will meet back with the eventual champions on Sunday. However, in their first match, La Roja took down Japan in a thrilling 3-1 fashion.

Lucía García stole the show for the Spanish, scoring two goals that were exactly 30 minutes apart from each other. García lit up the second half with her two goals, after both teams entered the half with one apiece. Alexia Putellas gave Spain the early lead, scoring in the 8th minute. However, Japanese forward Mana Iwabuchi chipped La Roja goalkeeper Dolores Gallardo. That was Japan’s lone tally of the match.

Spain will take on the United States next for a rematch of the Round of 16 loss. Meanwhile, the Japanese will take on England in the early afternoon on Sunday.

Goal Scoring Summary

  • Spain (Alexia Putellas, 8′)
  • Japan (Mana Iwabuchi, 44′)
  • Spain (Lucía García, 48′)
  • Spain (Lucía García, 78′)

Caution Summary

  • None

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