Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ was shaking Sunday night as Julie Ertz late goal off a Christen Press free kick gave the United States Women’s National Team a 1-0 victory over Spain. In the second of their three games in the She Believes Cup, the USWNT faced a disciplined Spain side who had chances of their own to score but ultimately failed to find the back of the net.
It was the perfect end to International Women’s Day and captain Crystal Dunn’s 100th cap, which was celebrated before the game with a framed Jersey ceremony in front of the stadium’s 26,500 attendees.
The winning goal came in the 87th minute. Christen Press, who had entered the game as a substitute in the 67th, lined up the dead ball and placed a perfect curler at the 6 yard line. Ertz timed it meticulously and out-jumped a Spain defender to put the USA up late.
Both teams finished with 9 shots, but interestingly, Spain had controlled possession 60% to the United States’ 40%. Spain’s defense stifled the USWNT for the majority of the game, allowing only 3 shots on target for the World Cup Champions.
The She Believes Cup for the United States culminates with a matchup against former World Cup opponent, Japan, on March 11th at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The USWNT are currently undefeated in the tournament and hold 6 points to Spain and England’s 3. With a victory against Japan, The United States will hoist the cup yet again.
Editor Nicholas Sbordone
Photos Juan M Pena