Tobin Heath (left) and Brazil midfielder Andressa battle for the ball. (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports)
TAMPA, Fla. – After playing a pair of 2-2 draws, the U.S. women’s national team got back on track defensively and into the win column by blanking Brazil, 1-0, in its final game of the SheBelieves Cup at Raymond James Stadium Tuesday night.
Despite the win, the Americans finished second in the competition to England, which posted a 3-0 triumph over Japan in the first game of the doubleheader to capture the title.
England, which finished the tournament with seven points from two wins and a 2-2 tie with the USA, scored all of its goals in the opening half hour against Japan before 14,009 spectators. Its three goals came on four shots on target.
The U.S. was unfortunate to not earn a penalty kick in the game’s opening seconds after Mallory Pugh was chopped down in the box, but pressed on to create more dangerous opportunities.
With a bit of luck, the USA would have headed into halftime with a larger lead but was happy with Tobin Heath’s strike in the 20th minute. Heath started the sequence, carrying the ball 50 yards before playing a pass to an open Alex Morgan to run in behind the Brazil defense. Morgan’s shot was saved by goalkeeper Aline, but the rebound rolled to Heath, who powered her left-footed shot into the upper left corner for her second goal of the tournament.
In the second half, the Americans continued to pressure and control the game’s tempo but missed on two finishes.
U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris had a strong game, making a crucial point-blank save around the 75th minute and another on a Marta free kick in the 81st minute.
The U.S. has five domestic matches remaining before the Women’s World Cup, two in April and three in May.
The USWNT continues the “Countdown to the Cup” with a friendly vs. Australia April 4 (9 p.m. ET; FS1) at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., followed by a first meeting with Belgium April 7 (9 p.m. ET; ESPN2) at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.