U.S. Women’s National Team wins Tournament of Nations; defeats Brazil, 4-1

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BRIDGEVIEW, IL - AUGUST 02: The U.S. Womens National Team celebrates winning the Tournament of Nations after a match between the United States and Brazil on Ausgust 2, 2018, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL. The U.S. won 4-1. (Photo By Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

BRIDGEVIEW, ILLINOIS (Aug. 2, 2018) – All the United States Women’s National Team needed was two goals. Instead, the team scored four.

On Thursday night at Toyota Park, the U.S. Women’s National Team faced off against Brazil. Both teams — and Australia — were in the running to lift the trophy. Last year, Australia won the first-ever Tournament of Nations.

USWNT wins Tournament of Nations; defeats Brazil, 4-1

This year, the United States claimed victory on home soil.

After an own-goal from Tierna Davidson, giving Brazil the opening point, the United States adjusted the game-plan given by Jill Ellis. Rose Lavelle scored her third-career goal for the national team in the 33rd minute, equalizing the match just in time for halftime.

After the break, the United States steamrolled over Brazil.

Julie Ertz scored in the 51st minute, of a Tobin Heath assist. The assist was the first of 2018 for the veteran midfielder. Meanwhile, for Ertz, scored her 16th career goal and second goal of 2018.

After the match, Ertz said that the United States knew that Brazil, an extremely technical team, was “going to bring it.”

“This tournament was huge for use in terms of progress, obviously with qualifying coming up,” Ertz said. “We’ve got to tweak a few things, but I’m just so proud of this team and how hard we work for each other.”

Less than 10 minutes later, Heath found the back of the net. Alex Morgan assisted Heath’s second goal of the year. Morgan scored the final goal for the United States in the 77th minute.

Despite having a 4-1 scoreline with a little over 10 minutes remaining, Lavelle said that the USWNT couldn’t “take our foot off the pedal.”

“We knew we still had to keep being aggressive and be on our front foot and attacking and not let it get to us,” Lavelle said. “Thankfully it worked.”

Australia defeats Japan, 2-0

In the earlier match, the Australians defeated Japan.

Lydia Williams earned the first — and only — clean sheet of the entire tournament. The Seattle Reign FC goalkeeper made three saves.

Opposite of Williams, Chika Hirao made four saves in goal.

However, Alanna Kennedy of the Orlando Pride and Samantha Kerr of the Chicago Red Stars slipped goals past Hirao. The Australians needed more goals than the United States but finished the tournament in second place.

As for Japan, the team finished in last place, losing all three matches.

Three USA v. Brazil Takeaways

  1. Tierna Davidson will be fine: Own goals happen and every player on the pitch is human. Right now, Davidson is a young player, learning her way through the national team. She’s in college at Stanford, so she isn’t even a professional player. Right now, the players are in-season. Davidson is just about to start training again. However, according to Ellis, the team “has a plan” for Davidson, should she be included in next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  2. Brazil just didn’t look good: For a team that is already qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Brazil didn’t look solid. The only goal for them came from the United States — which says a lot. I have been picking Brazil to win next year’s World Cup due to the sole fact that Marta is getting older and I’d love to see her win a World Cup. However, with that performance, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done.
  3. Lavelle is great when she’s good: Rose Lavelle being healthy is a huge plus for the United States. When she’s good, she’s great, but when she’s bad, she’s really bad. Right now, all the United States can hope for is that she remains healthy through the rest of the Washington Spirit season so she’s fit for World Cup qualifying.

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