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Christen Press, Megan Rapinoe Lift USA Past Brazil in 2021 SheBelieves Cup

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2021

United States forward Christen Press (23) follows a play during the second half of a SheBelieves Cup women's soccer match against Canada, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Brazil, like Canada before them, gave the United States women's national team all it could handle at the SheBelieves Cup. 

And just like Canada, Brazil still lost.   

The USWNT picked up a 2-0 victory Sunday, led by a first-half goal from Christen Press and a second-half clincher by Megan Rapinoe.

Press opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a beautiful turn and strike from a United States counter:

U.S. Soccer WNT @USWNT

a combination we LOVE: @ChristenPress + #SheBelievesCup 🤩 https://t.co/qWvfK8DY1J

Men in Blazers @MenInBlazers

christen press knew exactly what she was going to do with that ball as soon as it came to her feet. technically brilliant, mentally elite

Stars and Stripes FC @StarsStripesFC

Just typical Christen Press things: pick up the ball in wide space, cut in, get the ball on your shooting foot, and nail it bottom corner of the net. Big goal to set the tone early: USA 1 - 0 Brazil. #SheBelievesCup

But Brazil came into its own as the first half progressed, giving the United States some issues with the team's aggression and pressing. As always, the Brazilians were also dangerous in space when they could quickly counter, though the American defense held.

Grant Wahl @GrantWahl

I like the way Brazil is playing under Pia. They’re coming at the US.

It was clear that the early goal hadn't rattled Brazil. The players weren't intimidated. The question was whether they could muster a second-half score of their own. 

They could not. Instead, it was the legendary Rapinoe to put a bow on the proceedings:

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

Icing on the cake for the @USWNT! 🇺🇸 @mPinoe hammers it home to double the lead! https://t.co/FXpC9yfPsG

Caitlin Murray @caitlinmurr

The volley was nice, too. I'm sure baby Sloane is pleased. 😂

Jeff Carlisle @JeffreyCarlisle

Rapinoe with the clincher from Horan's cross. The #uswnt is just more ruthless in both penalty areas today.

There were goals in this game for Brazil, who will be kicking itself over chances left wanting, and questions for the United States to answer in defense. Still, a 2-0 win against Brazil is a great result. 

The USWNT will conclude its SheBelieves Cup campaign against Argentina on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET. A win or draw will clinch the cup for the country—and even a loss may be enough, depending on how goal differential shakes out—which would be its fourth SheBelieves Cup triumph since the inception of the tournament in 2016 and second in a row.

Brazil will face Canada earlier that same day at 4 p.m. ET. 

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