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Four Thorns feature in the USWNT’s 2-0 win over Brazil

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The U.S. team takes a huge step toward retaining the SheBelieves Cup with a win over Brazil.

2021 SheBelieves Cup - United States v Brazil Photo by Alex Menendez/ Getty Images

The United States women’s national team played Brazil in their second match of the SheBelieves Cup. Portland Thorns FC’s Becky Sauerbrunn, Crystal Dunn, and Lindsey Horan started for the USWNT for the second straight match. All three players played the entire match.

The first half played out as most people expected. It was a wide-open affair, with both teams looking to exploit the open space. The U.S. took advantage of the space early. Horan played Christen Press through on the left, and then Press cut inside and curled a shot into the bottom corner to put the U.S. up 1-0 in the 11th minute.

Brazil nearly responded with a goal of their own, but for a crucial sliding challenge from Dunn on Ludmila. The U.S. continued to dominate the ball in search of a second goal. Brazil looked to win the ball back quickly and counterattack through Debinha and Ludmila.

The two strikers caused the U.S. backline a lot of trouble, but were ultimately unable to capitalize on their chances in the first half.

The U.S. tightened up defensively to start the second half, but were still able to put pressure on the Brazilian defense. Horan headed over the bar, and Lynn Williams was unable to finish off a counterattack.

Sophia Smith came on for Williams in the 65th minute. In the 82nd minute, Marta squared to Debinha. Debiha curled her shot just wide, squandering Brazil’s best chance of the match.

The U.S. put the match out of reach when Horan lofted a cross to substitute Megan Rapinoe, who finished past the keeper.