The U.S. women's national team defeated Canada 1-0 to kick off their 2021 SheBelieves Cup. The game winning goal was provided by Rose Lavelle in the 79th minute after subbing in off the bench in the second half.
A scoreless first half between the two CONCACAF rivals provided some mixed results as Canada was able to play out of applied pressure from the U.S. An early injury to Canadian starting goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan forced a substitution in the 10th minute, with Steph Labbé providing solid performance in net to keep the game goalless in the first half despite the U.S. getting more shots on goal.
The USWNT was unable to find the breakthrough in the opening 45 minutes despite applying pressure and strong first half attacking play spearheaded by Crystal Dunn and Lynn Williams. While Canada successfully played out of the pressure under various waves of attack, they only recorded one shot on target in the first half despite spending time in dangerous spaces.
The second half provided more open play between the two sides, as the USWNT appeared to play with more urgency on the ball. Canada tried to take advantage of the open space, getting more looks in the final third, recording two more shots on target and forcing U.S. keeper Alyssa Naeher off her line and into a big save.
A trio of offensive substitutions would shake up the game as Christen Press, Alex Morgan, and Lavelle subbed on in the 64th minute. The impact was immediate as the trio got involved in the attack, and the breakthrough came after nearly 80 minutes as Lindsey Horan provided the assist on the game winning goal from Lavelle.
With the win, the USWNT sits in second place behind Brazil on goal differential. The two teams will face each other on Sunday in what will likely be a battle for first place in the tournament standings.
USWNT 1, Canada 0
⚽ USA: Rose Lavelle (79')