Soccer

On this day in 2019: England beat Japan to win SheBelieves Cup for first time

Lucy Staniforth, Karen Carney and Beth Mead scored in the first half as the Lionesses ran out 3-0 winners.

Beth Mead was on the scoresheet as England won the SheBelieves Cup
Beth Mead Beth Mead was on the scoresheet as England won the SheBelieves Cup (John Walton/PA)

England won the SheBelieves Cup for the first time with a 3-0 win over Japan on this day in 2019.

A 2-1 victory against Brazil and a 2-2 draw against hosts the United States saw the Lionesses set up a winner-takes-all final-match showdown with Japan at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Lucy Staniforth, Karen Carney and Beth Mead were all on the scoresheet in the first half as England were crowned champions of the invitational round-robin tournament.

Staniforth put the Lionesses ahead in the 12th minute, collecting a flicked pass from Jodie Taylor before finishing low in the bottom-right corner of the net.

Taylor recorded her second assist of the game shortly afterwards, hooking the ball to Carney in the six-yard box for the winger to nod home to make it 2-0, before Mead scored on the half-hour mark following a great pass from Keira Walsh.

Victory came as a boost ahead of the Women’s World Cup later that year in France, where the Lionesses would reach the semi-finals, and England manager Phil Neville hailed his side’s efforts in the SheBelieves Cup as “sensational”.

He said: “It was a sensational performance. I wasn’t that bothered before the tournament whether we won or lost, I just wanted to see an improvement and we go home knowing we are definitely in the right direction.

“We just keep listening to USA, Japan and Brazil talk about how good we are. But we remain humble, have fun and enjoy moments like this.

“You don’t get many chances to get your hands on a trophy. It is my first as a manager so I am just going to enjoy it.”