U.S. WNT KICKS OFF 2017 SHEBELIEVES CUP WITH 1-0 SHUTOUT WIN AGAINST GERMANY
Williams Scores Game-Winner in Fifth Cap; Naeher Earns Seventh Career Shutout;
USA Earns Three Points, Heads to New Jersey to Face England on March 4
CHESTER, Pa. (March 1, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s National Team began its 2017 campaign and the SheBelieves Cup with a 1-0 victory against Germany in front of 16,318 fans at Talen Energy Stadium.
As was expected with the top two teams in the world, the affair was an evenly played match throughout the entire 90 minutes, but the Americans did have the advantage in possession and scoring chances. The USA’s first moment of danger came in the 10th minute following a throw-in by Becky Sauebrunn on the right flank. Samantha Mewis brought the ball down and it bounced to Crystal Dunn, who fired a shot from the right side of the six-yard box straight at Germany’s goalkeeper. Amulth Schult did well to push it out for a USA corner. In the ensuing corner kick, Tobin Heath sent a corner kick to the far side that found the head of Carli Lloyd, but she sent it just over the crossbar.
Germany responded with a chance of its own in the 12th minute when Sara Däbritz’s rocket seemed to be heading into the upper right corner, but U.S. ‘keeper Alyssa Naeher responded with a diving save and pushed the ball out of danger.
In the second half, the USA came out energized and in the 56th minute, Lynn Williams finally broke through to give the USA a 1-0 lead after Christen Press’ shot hit the crossbar and Tobin Heath’s follow-up was blocked by a German defender. The ball then rolled to Williams and she finished smoothly to make it 1-0.
The U.S. took control of the match and missed several close chances in the latter part of the second half that would have sealed the game. Lloyd created a particularly dangerous chance as she dribbled around several defenders in the left side of the box and was one-on-one with the German goalkeeper, who made a great save to pin the ball with her legs.
The USA’s team defense was excellent over the entire 90 minutes and for the most part kept the Germans out of dangerous spots to earn the shutout.
Up Next: The USA now travels to Harrison, New Jersey to take on England on Saturday, March 4 in a primetime matchup at 5 p.m. ET that will air live on FOX. Additionally, the WNT will also honor legendary defender and former captain Christie Rampone before the match on Saturday. In the first game of today’s doubleheader, France took the 2-1 victory with a dramatic game-winning goal in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time.
2017 SheBelieves Cup Standings
Goal Scoring Rundown
USA – Lynn Williams 56th minute: Christen Press stole the ball from Isabel Kerschowski on the right flank and raced down the right wing, before cutting smartly into the penalty box while beating several defenders. She made enough space to fire a left-footed shot that hit the crossbar. The ball rebounded to Tobin Heath in the left side of the penalty area and her shot hit Kerschowski before settling for Lynn Williams to finish first-time with her right foot from eight yards out past another German defender and into the open net. It was her second career goal in her fifth international appearance. USA 1, GER 0. WATCH
Key Saves and Defensive Stops
GER – Amult Schult, 10th minute: Early in the first half, Crystal Dunn ran onto a ball that Samantha Mewis had knocked down into the right side of the six-yard box and fired a shot straight at goal, which Germany’s Amult Schult did well to push out for a USA corner.
USA – Alyssa Naeher, 12th minute: Germany’s Sara Däbritz received a pass from the left side and ripped a shot from about 18-yards towards the U.S. goal. Naeher came up big, diving to her left and pushing the ball out for a Germany corner. Josephine Henning’s cross was then easily controlled by Naeher to maintain the scoreless draw.
GER – Amult Schult, 24th minute: After some nifty moves on the left side of the box, Christen Press slid a pass to Crystal Dunn who shot it to the upper 90, much like her goal from last year’s tournament against England, but this time Schult timed it well and jumped to catch the ball to keep the game scoreless.
Lynn Williams on the 2017 group forging an identity. pic.twitter.com/RNHGcY7pch
— Matthew De George (@sportsdoctormd) March 2, 2017