USWNT beats Canada to win 2024 SheBelieves Cup on penalties

The U.S. won 2-2 (5-4 penalties) in a similar game state to the Concacaf W Gold Cup semifinal.

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For the fifth straight time, the U.S. women's national team are SheBelieves Cup winners.

After tying 2-2 in regulation, the U.S. outlasted Canada 5-4 in a penalty shootout that went to sudden death.

The U.S. under interim head coach Twila Kilgore opened with a 4-2-3-1 with Alex Morgan leading the line, while Canada, led by Bev Priestman, started in a 3-4-3 shape.

Jaedyn Shaw had a lively first half for the U.S. producing multiple opportunities down the left flank, but nothing broke past goalie Kailen Sheridan, two San Diego Wave teammates.

Instead, the opening goal fell to Canada off an extra-aggressive Alyssa Naeher.

Naeher committed off her line too early and failed to win the ball, allowing Deanne Rose to calmly pass it to Adriana Leon for an open-net finish in the 40th minute.

But the early stages of the second half were dominated by the U.S. The fast pressure paid off swiftly thanks to Sophia Smith's exquisite weak-footed outside-the-box hit.

It wasn't a coincidence the U.S. looked better in attack after a swap in personnel at halftime. Winger Mallory Swanson came on for defensive midfielder Sam Coffey, so Lindsey Horan dropped from the attacking midfield role into the No. 6. Shaw moved to Horan's position to accommodate Swanson.

And that's how the USWNT's second goal arrived.

Horan broke Canada's midfield line with one pass, which saw Shaw deliver a through ball to Trinity Rodman, who then laid it off to Smith for a brace in the 68th minute.

But, as was the case when the two teams met in the Concacaf W Gold Cup semifinal in March, Canada were rewarded a late penalty in the 86th minute after a Crystal Dunn foul inside the box.

Leon then stepped up to make it a brace.

The game then went straight to penalties. For Canada who went first, Jessie Fleming and Leon scored the first two but Jade Rose missed the third and Cloe Lacasse botched the fourth. Julia Grosso made the fifth before Ashley Lawrence made the first sudden-death attempt, but Evelyne Viens missed the second.

For the U.S., Rodman missed, Smith scored then Naeher stepped up and buried it after saving Rose's attempt. Horan slotted home the fourth, but Emily Sonnett sent hers over the crossbar in what would've won the game. But Abby Dahlkemper made the first sudden-death attempt, then Emily Fox made the second to win the cup.

It marked the USWNT's seventh ever SheBelieves Cup since the mini tournament started in 2016 and five in a row dating back to 2019. It was the first time Canada reached the final.

The USWNT will next return in early June to play two friendlies versus South Korea, where incoming manager Emma Hayes will debut in the buildup to the 2024 Olympics.

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