09 March 2020

Julie Ertz strikes late as USA edge past Spain to close in on SheBelieves Cup title

Julie Ertz's dramatic 87th-minute header gave the USA a 1-0 victory over Spain and moved them within one game of the 2020 SheBelieves Cup title.

Substitute Christen Press' wicked free-kick was nodded home from close range by Ertz to crush Spanish hopes of a well-deserved point.

The result leaves USA top of the SheBelieves Cup table on six points with one game to play, while Spain and England sit below them with one victory apiece.

Megan Rapinoe should have given the US the lead inside three minutes when she broke clear on the counter-attack, cut inside, but struck her effort straight at keeper Sandra Panos.

Spanish striker Jennifer Hermoso came closest for the underdogs midway through the first half as her deft header beat the despairing dive of Alyssa Naeher, only for the ball to come back off the inside of the post.

Kristie Mewis then went close for the US on the hour mark as her fizzed 25-yard strike was tipped away by Panos.

The tide turned once more as Spain's Marta Cardona carved out an opportunity for herself but could only curl her effort narrowly wide of Naeher's right-hand post.

And the US made their opponents pay three minutes from time as Ertz timed her run to perfection to power her header past Panos and give the world champions a crucial three points.

The result means USA need just a point from their final SheBelieves Cup match against bottom side Japan to win the title.

SheBelieves Cup fixtures (GMT):

March 11: England vs Spain (9:15pm)

March 12: USA vs Japan (12am)

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