Megan Rapinoe steals show as USWNT roar to another SheBelieves Cup

Tom Gott
Feb 25, 2021, 11:30 AM GMT
2021 SheBelieves Cup - United States v Argentina
2021 SheBelieves Cup - United States v Argentina | Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The United States successfully defended their SheBelieves crown on Wednesday night as they roared to an emphatic 6-0 win over Argentina to seal their glory.

Also joined in the competition by Brazil and Canada, the USWNT became the first team to win the entire tournament without conceding a single goal, having fought their way through both sides in the week building up to the Argentina game.

A tough 1-0 win over Canada was followed by a 2-0 win over Brazil, but the US really turned on the style for their final match against Argentina, firing home four goals in the first 45 minutes as a sign of their intent.

It was Megan Rapinoe who opened the scoring in the 16th minute with a composed finish, before the all-time top scorer in SheBelieves history made it two with a tap-in ten minutes later to give Vlatko Andonovski's side some breathing room.

In the 35th minute, Rapinoe turned creator for Carli Lloyd, who marked her 299th international appearance with her 124th goal, and the final goal of the half came courtesy of a tidy finish from Kristie Mewis.

The US took their foot off the gas in the second half and had to wait until the 81st minute to get their fifth. Alex Morgan bagged her first international goal since May, moving her ahead of Michelle Akers into fifth spot on the team's all-time scoring charts with 108.

A Christen Press header wrapped things up late on, extending the US' unbeaten run to 37 games in all competitions and 53 on home soil. 16 of those have come under Andonovski, who has won every match since taking over from Jill Ellis in 2019.

“We wanted to come out fast as always,” said Rapinoe (via The Guardian). “It’s always dangerous to leave teams hanging around, so we were able to do that today.

"I just tried to find the space, be aggressive. Found myself in the middle a little bit more. The nines better be careful, leaving me out there scoring goals. Just trying to get up there and take the chances.”

Rapinoe finished as the competition's top scorer with three goals, but the MVP award was given to Manchester City's Rose Lavelle.

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