Alex Morgan (L) scored and Rose Lavelle (R) logged an assist in the United States Women's National Team's win over Brazil at the SheBelieves Cup on Wednesday in Frisco, Texas. Photo by Tolga Bozoglu/EPA-EFE
Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Alex Morgan and Mallory Swanson each scored to lead the Americans past Brazil for their fourth consecutive SheBelieves Cup title in Frisco, Texas.
Morgan scored in first-half stoppage time of the 2-1 victory Wednesday at Toyota Stadium. Fellow forward Mallory Swanson netted a second score in the 63rd minute. Brazilian striker Ludmila cut into the deficit in the 90th minute, but Brazil could not complete the late rally.
"Mal's just ridiculous now," Morgan told TNT, when asked about Swanson. "She is doing amazing. To get the goal before half was important for momentum. ... This was the best way to prepare ourselves for the World Cup."
The Americans have now won six of the eight editions of the SheBelieves Cup, which started in 2016. France won in 2017 and England won in 2020.
Left back Crystal Dunn nearly scored in the fourth minute, but the shot was deflected wide. Morgan also watched another shot go wide midway through the first half. Midfielder Kerolin sent a shot just outside the left post about five minutes later for Brazil's first early chance.
Brazil and the U.S. women exchanged several additional threats before Morgan broke the deadlock in the third minute of stoppage time.
Swanson fired the initial attempt, which was deflected outside the box. Morgan tracked down the loose ball. She tapped the ball left before she ripped a shot high into the left corner of the net, beating Brazilian goalie Lorena.
Brazilian left wing Adriana hit the post in the 49th minute. Several other Brazil attempts that minute also were denied by the American defense.
Swanson then scored her fourth goal of the tournament in the 63rd minute. Midfielder Rose Lavelle stole the ball near midfield and dribbled toward the box to spark that breakaway. She then slipped a pass into the box. Swanson tapped the ball to her right and finished the play with a strike into a narrow angle, past Lorena's left hit and inside the right post.
U.S. goalie Alyssa Naeher denied another Brazilian attempt in the 82nd minute. Brazil then cut the deficit in half about eight minutes later.
Brazilian defender Bruninha sent in a cross from the top right second of the box. Ludmila hovered in toward the far post and out-jumped several defenders. She finished the play with a header into the right side of the net.
The U.S. women will face Vietnam in their 2023 World Cup opener at 9 p.m. EST July 23 in Aukland, New Zealand.