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Smith plays 79’, Sauerbrunn features as the USWNT defeat Iceland 5-0 and win SheBelieves Cup

Smith and Sauerbrunn win the SheBelieves Cup with the USWNT.

2022 SheBelieves Cup - Iceland v United States Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Sophia Smith started and played 79 minutes in the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 5-0 victory over Iceland. With the victory the USWNT retained their She Believes Cup title. Smith started her third consecutive match for the USWNT in the She Believes Cup and earned her 13th cap. Becky Sauerbrunn started the match on the bench and came on in the 86th minute.

The Americans entered the match in need of three points if they were to defend their SheBelieves Cup crown which meant the match was wide open from the start. Three minutes into the match, Alana Cook played a flighted vertical ball to Emily Fox in the box. She found Mallory Pugh, who was denied from a tight angle.

Pugh had another chance quickly thereafter. Ashley Sanchez picked the ball up around the center circle and drove toward goal. She released Pugh into space and the Colorado native lifted her shot over the crossbar.

Sveindis Jane Jonsdottir demonstrated Iceland’s ability to test the U.S. She got the ball at the top of the 18-yard box and fired a dangerous shot just over Casey Murphy’s goal. Two minutes later, Iceland had a tame shot saved by Murphy.

Catarina Macario forced the Icelandic keeper into a good save after reacting first to Pugh’s blocked shot. Macario struck first-time but was denied.

Pugh was involved again in what was her best chance so far in the 22nd minute. Andi Sullivan hit a delightful first-time ball into stride for Pugh. She drove toward goal and pushed her shot just wide of the post.

Kristie Mewis had an even better chance moments later. Sanchez played her into the area. Mewis took a great first touch but shanked her shot wide.

Macario opened the scoring in the 37th minute, scoring her fourth goal for the USWNT. Macario ran onto a chipped ball from Sanhcez. She took a touch to get the ball on her right foot and curled a brilliant strike off the post and into the back of the net.

Macario doubled the U.S.’s lead in the 45th minute. The USWNT counter through Sullivan and Mewis. Mewis played it to Pugh and the ball found its way to Macario. She hit a audacious chip over the keeper and into the back of the net.

The U.S. continued to put Iceland under pressure as played resumed in the second half. Smith tested the keeper with a left footed shot early in the half and Macario kept creating danger in and around the area.

Macario linked up with Sanchez and Sanchez played a line-splitting pass to Pugh. Pugh ran into the penalty box and slotted the ball into the back of the net, making it 3-0.

In the 73rd minute, Smith had a chance to get on the scoresheet. She was played into space down the right. Smith fired a low shot toward goal but was denied.

The U.S. made it 4-0 as Macario and Pugh linked up in transition. Macario won it back, Pugh played it to Macario, and the Lyon forward returned it to Pugh, who made scored her second of the night.

Smith was replaced as part of a triple substitution in the 80th minute. Sauerbrunn came on in the 86th minute.

Substitute Margaret Purce faced up to her defender, got free and played a cutback cross across the box. Mewis made a late run from midfield and got on the end of Purce’s pass, tapping it home to make it 5-0 in the 87th minute.

Mewis’s goal would be the final goal of the night as the USWNT won the match and the 2022 SheBelieves Cup.