Rapinoe-led US beats Argentina 6-0 to win SheBelieves Cup

Sports

United States forward Megan Rapinoe (15) celebrates after scoring a goal in front of Argentina midfielder Vanesa Santana, right, during the first half of a SheBelieves Cup women’s soccer match, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Megan Rapinoe scored two first-half goals and the United States won the SheBelieves Cup title with a 6-0 victory over Argentina on Wednesday night

The United States is undefeated in 37 games in a row overall and 53 on American soil.

Carli Lloyd, Kristie Mewis, Alex Morgan and Christen Press also scored, and the U.S. women also become the first team to have three straight shutouts in the SheBelieves Cup, which is in its sixth year.

The defending champion U.S. team blanked Canada in the round-robin tournament opener and then downed Brazil 2-0 on Sunday. Earlier Wednesday, Brazil beat Canada 2-0 at Exploria Stadium. Brazil finished second.

“Overall, very happy with how we performed and how were were able to unlock Argentina early in the game, and how we finished the game as well,” U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski said.

Argentina, a late addition after Japan dropped out because of coronavirus concerns, did not win a match but did impress with gritty performances.

Rapinoe scored in the 16th minute with a well-timed strike on a through ball from Rose Lavelle for the early lead.

Rapinoe added another in the 26th minute, tapping in a cross from Lloyd. Rapinoe is the top SheBelieves career leader with seven goals, including three in this edition.

“We wanted to come out fast as always. It’s always dangerous to leave teams hanging around, so we definitely didn’t do that today,” Rapinoe said. “Just tried to find the space, be aggressive.”

Lloyd added a goal in the 34th. It was Lloyd’s 124th international goal and it came in her 299th appearance with the national team.

Kristie Mewis scored on an angle into the far corner for her fourth career international goal in the 41st minute, and the United States took a 4-0 lead into the half.

Morgan scored in 84th, her first goal since giving birth to her daughter Charlie last May. It was her 108th international goal, moving her into sole possession of fifth place on the team’s career list.

“I’m very excited to get my first goal back with the national team and join the list of moms on the team who have scored goals and played as a national team player,” Morgan said. “I just want to be an example for other female athletes who are moms or want to become moms, knowing that they still belong in the game.”

Press scored on a header before the final whistle for her 11th goal in her last 15 games.

Rose Lavelle was named the MVP for the tournament.

“Honestly I don’t know how I won that,” Lavelle said. “It’s always nice to be recognized, but I think there were other people that deserved it more.”

The United States improved to 4-0 against Argentina.

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