Mallory Swanson plays hero again as USWNT defeats Japan
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Mallory Swanson plays hero again as USWNT defeats Japan

The U.S. women’s national team had a tougher time in Sunday’s second SheBelieves Cup match against Japan, but its leading goalscorer delivered once again to lead the Americans to their fourth-consecutive win to start 2023.

Mallory Swanson’s first-half goal was all the USWNT needed at GEODIS Park in Nashville to claim a 1-0 victory. Casey Murphy made two saves down the stretch to preserve the home win and keep the Americans riding high on confidence.

Both teams were strong defensively in the first half, limiting the offensive chances to only one total through the opening 45 minutes. The USWNT used a fast break opportunity to take the lead through as Swanson’s sublime just before halftime.

Alex Morgan’s pass was finished off by Swanson in the center of the Japan box, propelling the Americans in front 1-0. It was Swanson’s sixth goal in four appearances in 2023.

Japan continued to fight for a tying goal but was unable to break down the USWNT’s stubborn backline. Yui Hasegawa’s close range shot was gathered by Murphy in the 81st minute while Trinity Rodman came close to giving the USWNT its insurance goal.

Murphy’s most important and final save came in the 92nd minute as she dove to her right to repel Jun Endo’s low shot. The USWNT would hang on and claim a fourth shutout of the new year.

Andonovski’s squad will close their SheBelieves Cup schedule on Wednesday against Brazil.

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