In the dramatic 2024 SheBelieves Cup Championship Game, the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Canada 5-4 in a penalty kick shootout after the teams had drawn 2-2 during regulation. This victory was the team’s fifth consecutive and seventh overall SheBelieves Cup title.

The USA won the sixth round of spot kicks thanks to a goal from goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who also saved three. This accomplishment has only been accomplished twice in USWNT history, and both times in five weeks. The winning penalty was converted by defender Emily Fox. After a scoreless standard period, braces from striker Sophia Smith—who won the SheBelieves Cup MVP award—and Adriana Leon of Canada compelled the penalty shootout.

The USA controlled possession and spent the majority of the first ten minutes in Canada’s half, thus the tempo was quick to pick up. The 19-year-old Jaedyn Shaw, who has been on a hot streak and was involved in both goals tonight in addition to scoring in the semifinal in Japan, made a brilliant effort to connect passes and create opportunities all over the field as the Americans came dangerously close to opening the scoring in the 29th minute after Alex Morgan nodded a pass toward Shaw inside the box. She dribbled the ball past a defender with skill and strained to shoot, but Canada’s goalie Kailen Sheridan came out quickly to stifle the effort.

Canada scored the first goal against the flow of play, following a long ball down the right flank that compelled Naeher to race to the top of the penalty box. After bouncing off Ashley Lawrence of Canada and Naeher, the 50/50 ball fell at the foot of defender Deanne Rose, who then passed it to Leon inside the box so she could finish into an open net. After trying to take advantage of a bad clearance after a set piece, Morgan came dangerously close to equalizing only two minutes later, but Kadeisha Buchanan did a great job to knock the shot out for a corner, sending the United States into halftime behind 1-0.

In just five minutes, Smith equalized for the USA with a spectacular left-footed effort from just outside the top of the box after a clever ball from Shaw. The USA came out strong in the second half.

After a fantastic through ball from Mallory Swanson, Smith went close to scoring again in the 62nd minute, but the ball just managed to escape her feet and was pushed away by a retiring Canda defender. In the 68th minute, Shaw found forward Trinity Rodman as she was running up the center, and her efforts paid off.

Smith was wide open for a feed into the right side of the penalty box after Rodman skillfully dragged two defenders in to provide pressure, and she finished elegantly through Sheridan’s legs to take the lead.

By admin