The USMNT started their defense of the SheBelieves Cup by defeating Canada, the world’s sixth-ranked team according to the FIFA rankings, by a score of 2-0 in Thursday night’s opener.
It was Mallory Swanson who took care of the goals, scoring her 29th and 30th of her international career. Both goals came in the first half, with Alex Morgan assisting on the first
Lindsay Horan set up Swanson for a very early chance but the angle was too tight for the Chicago Red Star and she saw her effort collected by Kailen Sheridan between the Canuck sticks. Ashley Sanchez was then denied from the top of the box as the Canadian keeper tipped the effort over the cross bar.
A few minutes later however, in the seventy minute, the shot-stopper was picking the ball out of the back of her net. In the seventh minute, Dennis Rodman’s little girl, Trinity, beat her marker and sent a cross into the box that picked out Morgan, who directed it first time to Swanson, who popped it in from 17 yards out. Horan was denied by the near post ten minutes later.
The American dominance continued and it wasn’t much longer before it paid off again. This time it was Morgan putting the pressure on Vanessa Gilles, forcing the center back into attempting an ill-advised back pass to her keeper. It was a lazy pass, not very well hit but good enough for Swanson to run onto and easy tuck into the back of the Olympic gold medalist’s goal.
Canada could have gotten one back in first half stoppage time but Janine Beckie failed to capitalize on sloppy American play but her shot from just outside the 18 yard box was pushed out of harm’s way by an acrobatic Alyssa Naeher.
In the second half Kristen Mewis thought she had assisted on a goal when she sent a simple pass to Ashley Hatch. The 27-year-old found herself one on one with Sheridan but this time the Canadian came out on top as she deflected the shot.
The Americans dominated the game and the two goals were enough to give them three points in the tournament. They’ll look to add three more next time out when they face Japan.