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On International Women’s Day, some of the most popular and talented women in the United States thrilled fans at the SheBelieves Cup.
Julie Ertz’s header three minutes before stoppage time vaulted the USWNT past Spain 1-0 at Red Bull Arena, and gave the Americans a considerable advantage atop the SheBelieves Cup standings.
The annual event is played in a round-robin, total points format, and the United States has now beaten England and Spain, two of the teams it faced en route to winning the World Cup again last summer and also two of the best women’s soccer programs on the planet.
That leaves the USWNT with a full six points and one match left against Japan, which will be played Wednesday in Frisco, Texas. Spain and England, meanwhile, will face each other, and the USWNT also has a +2 goal difference as a safety net in the event of an upset.
They played the Americans tough on Sunday, too, well-drilled in their technicality and quick in their decision-making. Jenni Hermoso hit the post with a flashing header midway through the first half, and Spain kept the USWNT on their toes.
Ertz allowed the Americans to exhale in the 87th minute, driving home a header off a free kick by Christen Press (via ESPN):
— ESPN (@espn) March 8, 2020
The win comes a day after U.S. Soccer fired back in the ongoing equal pay dispute, claiming the federation had offered the women the same pay structure as the men, but the women wouldn’t meet to discuss any proposals that didn’t include U.S. Soccer making up the $66 million in FIFA World Cup prize money they believe they’re owed.
“If that’s how you want to celebrate International Women’s Day and show support for not only your players but for potentially future players and girls all over the place, that’s one way to do it,” star Megan Rapinoe said after the game, according to Andrew Das of the New York Times.
The results keep piling up, too. Add Sunday to the list.
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