December 7, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Megan Rapinoe, USWNT dominate Argentina to win SheBelieves Cup

Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan continued their climb up the list of national team scoring leaders Wednesday, combining for four goals in a 6-0 win over Argentina in the SheBelieves Cup final in Orlando, Fla.

The victory was the third in as many games for the U.S. in the tournament, which won its fifth SheBelieves title in seven tries. It also ran the U.S. win streak to 16 games and its unbeaten streak to 36 games overall. The Americans haven’t lost at home in 53 tries.

Rapinoe got the scoring started in the 16th minute, catching up to a long Rose Lavelle pass at the edge of the penalty area and banging in a one-timer with her right boot. She doubled the lead 10 minutes later, splitting a pair of defenders and sliding onto to a low feed from Carli Lloyd to redirect it into an open net from the edge of the six-yard box.

That gave her a team-leading five goals on the season and 57 in her international career, three short of 10th place on the all-time U.S. list.

Kristie Mewis, making her first start for the U.S. in seven years, set Lloyd up for a goal of her own in the 35th minute to make it 3-0. For Lloyd, the goal was the 125th in 299 international matches. Her next appearance will make her just the third player, behind Kristine Lilly and Christine Rampone, to play in 300 matches for the U.S.

She needs six goals to pass Lilly for third all-time in that category.

Mewis, older sister of World Cup star Sam Mewis, closed the first-half scoring with a left-footed shot into the side netting at the far post six minutes later.

Morgan made it 5-0 late in the second half, scoring for the first time since the semifinals of the 2019 World Cup. The goal was the 108th of her career breaking a tie with Michelle Akers for fifth on the all-time list.

Christine Press closed the scoring in the 88th minute.

U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski used 22 of the 23 players on his roster in the three SheBelieves Cup games with only third-string keeper Casey Murphy not seeing action. Andonovski has to trim his roster to 18 players for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

The U.S. outshot Argentina 27-1, putting 11 of those tries on target. U.S. goalkeeper Jane Campbell did not have to make a save in recording the shutout, the sixth straight for the Americans, who have allowed one goal in their last 15 games.

Argentina, ranked 31st in the world, was a last-minute addition to the SheBelieves field after No. 10 Japan withdrew over COVID-19 concerns.

In Wednesday’s opening game, Brazil got first-half goals from Debinha and Julia Bianchi to beat Canada 2-0 to finish second in the tournament.