ORLANDO, Fla. Rose Lavelle scored in the 79th minute to give the United States a 1-0 victory over Canada in the SheBelieves Cup on Thursday night.
The United States extended their winning streak to 35 games overall and 51 on American soil.
Heading Alex Morgans on a cross from Crystal Dunn was just wide for the top-ranked Americans in the 68th minute. Lavelle, who came in as a substitute, picked up a loose ball on a free kick and scored.
She brings that special creativity to her, and it’s like you get lost watching her, defenseman Midge Purce said.
The Canadians were competitive despite the absence of several key players due to injury, including all-time top international scorer Christine Sinclair as well as Diana Matheson, Erin McLeod and Bianca St-Georges. Kadeisha Buchanan, Jordyn Huitema and Ashley Lawrence have not been released by their European clubs.
Canadian goaltender Kailen Sheridan was assisted off the field with an injury in the opening minutes. She was replaced by Stephanie Labbe, who made a diving save against Lynn Williams in the 39th minute.
Nichelle Prince had two good chances for Canada at the start of the second half, but was unable to convert.
It was certainly not a lack of creativity, but I would say it was more a lack of execution, “said USA coach Vlatko Andonovski.” We created good opportunities after a good build-up, or we were able to break them. with good creativity. But we couldn’t execute it. I’m just glad that after missing all these opportunities we were able to find a way to score a goal.
It was Bev Priestman’s first game as a coach of the eighth-seeded Canadians, who are preparing for the Tokyo Olympics this summer. The United States will seek their fifth gold medal in seven Olympic tournaments.
I think for an opener as a new coach you want the players to put everything on the pitch and I’m really, really proud, I thought they did, “Priestman said.” The mindset was right, first and foremost, they were brave, they worked really, really hard, and I think they brought him to the United States just moments into this game.
Priestman was disappointed that an apparent handball was not called in the 74th minute that would have given Canada a penalty kick.
Canada’s last victory over the Americans was in 2001. The United States improved their series record to 51-3-7.
This is the sixth edition of the SheBelieves Cup. The United States is the defending champion.
Earlier on Thursday, Brazil beat Argentina 4-1 in the tournament’s opening game. Argentina replaced Japan on the tournament grounds after the Japanese decided not to participate due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Argentina had four players excluded from their first game due to coronavirus protocols.
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