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US defeats Brazil to Win the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup thanks to a Goal from Horan

LOS ANGELES: The United States won the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup in California on Sunday, defeating Brazil 1-0 behind a single goal from Lindsey Horan. At San Diego’s Snapdragon Stadium, US captain Horan scored his goal in first-half injury time to cap off a largely uneventful 12-team tournament finale.

“I’m incredibly proud of the team right now,” Horan declared in the aftermath. “We once again worked hard to win. Brazil presented us with a unique challenge, and it was a tough game. “I’m incredibly proud of us for managing to score a goal, winning the game, and taking home a trophy.”

Horan, in the meantime, noted the contributions of a number of younger players who were drafted into the squad after the US team’s last-16 exit from the Women’s World Cup last year and said that the US would draw encouragement from the tournament victory as they prepare for the Olympics this summer. “It was an incredible tournament for them, and you see some of them playing in their first final tonight,” Horan remarked. “We’re going to see what they can accomplish heading into the Olympics. It appears that they are not young and inexperienced, which makes me incredibly proud.

The Brazilians’ best effort came from a Dudi Sampaio free kick that went over in the tenth minute, as they failed to muster a single shot on goal during the first half. Additionally, Gabi Nunes witnessed a wild 15th-minute strike from the boundary shoot high into the stands.

In the first half, the American women struggled to generate many chances for goals through open play and were similarly off-target. In the 40th minute, Horan had indicated that she was a threat from the air when she bent down to send a header that Brazil’s goalkeeper Luciana had to save before it could get in.

Horan’s close call was the only US shot on goal for the half at that point. But just as halftime was approaching, the breakthrough materialized. After breaking down the right flank, Emily Fox, the right-back, was passed back to by Trinity Rodman in space.

Horan was poised to give Luciana no chance by nodding the header back across the goal after Fox swung in an inviting deep cross to the back post. Both sides produced very little of note in the second half, which carried on in much the same manner.

With a flurry of substitutions, US interim coach Twila Kilgore overhauled the US attack, inserting Sophia Smith, Lynn Williams, Jaedyn Shaw, and Midge Purce. On 79 minutes, Williams appeared to have scored a second goal as he capitalized on a defensive blunder to finish with confidence.

However, Williams’ goal was disallowed because he had strayed slightly offside. On minute 85, Brazil caused concern in the US defense when Geyse’s deft flick from a free kick went narrowly past Alyssa Naeher’s post. During stoppage time, Luciana saved a shot by Korbin Albert on the other end, but Debinha sent a Brazilian free-kick just over the bar.- AFP


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