06 March 2020

USA 2-0 England: Press and Lloyd hit quick-fire double to sink Lionesses in SheBelieves Cup opener

England's defence of the SheBelieves Cup got off to the worst possible start after they were beaten 2-0 by world champions USA in Orlando.

Christen Press and Carli Lloyd scored within two minutes of each other early in the second half as the Americans showed their class against a disappointing Lionesses side.

The result means England have now lost five out of eight games since being beaten by the USA in the World Cup semi-finals last summer.

Phil Neville's side will now need to pick themselves up for their matches against Japan on Sunday and Spain on Wednesday.

The USA were on the front foot from the off as Rose Lavelle's effort from 25 yards out was tipped away by Carly Telford, who impressed in goal for England.

Minutes later Lindsey Horan was in on goal after a sensational pass from Tobin Heath, but again Telford thwarted the Americans.

England's best chance of the game came in the first half when Lauren Hemp, who was making her first start for the Lionesses, flicked the ball on from a corner only for it to be parried over by Alyssa Naeher.

Eight minutes into the second half the USA took the lead in some style as Press whipped home a beautiful strike from 25 yards out past the despairing dive of Telford.

And the US doubled their lead just moments later when a sumptuous chip from Horan found Lloyd in behind the England backline and the veteran forward finished with aplomb for her 123rd goal for the national team.

After the match, England manager Phil Neville said: "I don't see a team that lacked confidence in terms of the way we want to play. I see a team trying to play the right way and it feels as if we are so close but yet so far at this moment.

"The first goal was a wonder goal. The second goal was a lapse in concentration. We had chances in the game, opportunities to be ruthless, and we didn't really commit to it."

In the other SheBelieves Cup match, Spain beat Japan 3-1 to move top of the table after one round of games.

Alexia Putellas put the Spanish ahead after just eight minutes before Mana Iwabuchi equalised on the stroke of half-time.

But two second half goals from Lucia Garcia gave Jorge Vilda's side the perfect start to the tournament.

The next round of fixtures on Sunday sees USA and Spain face off as they look to maintain their perfect records, while Japan and England seek a first victory.

March 8: Japan vs England (6:15pm); USA vs Spain (9pm)

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