How things stand in the 2021 SheBelieves Cup ahead of final games

How things stand in the 2021 SheBelieves Cup ahead of final games

The United States will win the SheBelieves Cup for the fourth time in six years as long as they avoid defeat to Argentina in their final game of the 2021 tournament this week.

The USWNT have already won their opening two games against more difficult opponents in Canada and Brazil and now face an Argentina side in Orlando, Florida at 7pm (ET) on Wednesday night that was invited at the last minute to make up the numbers.

Julie Ertz, Crystal DunnJulie Ertz, Crystal Dunn
USA only need to draw against Argentina after beating Brazil | Alex Menendez/Getty Images

An experienced USWNT side almost exclusively made up of 2019 World Cup winners managed to grind out a 1-0 over Canada in game one, before an early goal from Christen Press and a late goal from Megan Rapinoe contributed to a 2-0 victory over Brazil last time out.

Argentina, ranked joint 31st in the world by FIFA and currently far below the elite level of women’s international football, lost 4-1 to Brazil in their opener, although they frustrated Canada for most of game two and were on course to bag a 0-0 draw until a late Canadian winner.

Argentina do hope to become more competitive in the future and have launched a new professional domestic championship back home that will ensure clubs have a minimum number of players on professional contracts, but the national team isn’t ready yet.

Allysha Chapman, Lorena Benitez, Shelina ZadorskyAllysha Chapman, Lorena Benitez, Shelina Zadorsky
Argentina have lost against Brazil & Canada so far | Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Brazil 4-1 Argentina, 18 February
USA 1-0 Canada, 18 February
USA 2-0 Brazil, 21 February
Argentina 0-1 Canada, 21 February

The only way that the United States will fail to get their hands on the trophy is if they unthinkably lose on Wednesday and either Brazil or Canada have already won by enough in the earlier kick-off to sufficiently swing the goal difference.

A 1-0 USWNT defeat, for example, would mean a 1-0 Brazil win over Canada is enough for them to lift the trophy. Canada would have to score three and win by at least two goals against Brazil. But the Americans are overwhelming favourites because of the mismatch with Argentina.

Brazil & Canada still have a chance, but only if USWNT loses | Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

France (2017) and England (2019) are the only other nations to won have the SheBelieves Cup since it was launched off the back of the 2015 World Cup with the intention of pitting four of the best international teams against each other in a competitive environment on an annual basis.

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