SheBelieves Cup

Japan Women 0-3 England Women: Lionesses win SheBelieves Cup for first time

By Emma SandersBBC Sport

England won the SheBelieves Cup for the first time after thrashing Japan in their final match in Tampa.

Jodie Taylor set up Lucy Staniforth to fire England into an early lead with a fine low finish from outside the area.

Karen Carney doubled the lead when she nodded in from Taylor's lofted cut-back before Beth Mead fired in a third before half-time.

England also beat Brazil and drew with hosts the USA to ensure they topped the four-team round-robin competition.

The night's other game saw the USA beat Brazil 1-0.

It is the first time England have won the invitational tournament, which was introduced in 2016, having lost to world champions the USA in last year's competition.

England, ranked fourth in the world, also meet Japan again in the group stages of this summer's World Cup in France, which kicks off on 7 June and is live across BBC TV, radio and online.

Ruthless first half from England

Japan knocked England out in the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2015 but failed to impose themselves following a dominant first-half display from the Lionesses.

Taylor lit up the show, using her pace to cause the defence problems and showing her class to set up Staniforth with an excellent pass on the turn.

The Euro 2017 golden boot winner then lifted an inch-perfect ball into Carney to pick up a second assist within 23 minutes.

But Keira Walsh's sensational diagonal ball set up the goal of the night as Mead took it in her stride before cutting into the box and firing into the back of the net.

That rounded off a near-perfect opening half, with Izzy Christiansen's injury the only negative for Phil Neville's side.

SheBelieves Cup final table

Japan came out of the blocks with more intensity in the second half and came close through Rikako Kobayashi and Aya Sameshima.

Substitute Yuka Momiki should have scored just before the hour but she dragged her shot wide from close-range under pressure from England keeper Carly Telford.

Telford was also forced to tip Kobayashi's half-volley over the bar after Hina Sugita's header bounced inches wide of the left post.

Neville's substitutions disrupted rhythm after the break, but England's lead was never in any danger as Japan failed to match the clinical shooting the Lionesses displayed in the first half.

'There's bigger things to come' - Neville

England manager Phil Neville speaking to BBC Sport: "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 the 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. It's great for everybody but I think we have bigger things to aim for. We will enjoy it but tomorrow we will look forward to the April camp."

On Izzy Christiansen's injury: "It looks bad. But she's strong. We have lost Jordan Nobbs already in the build-up. Christiansen is vital to our squad. Hopefully she will be OK."

England celebrate winning the SheBelieves Cup
England are in the same group as Scotland, Japan and Argentina at this summer's Women's World Cup

'A big statement' - analysis

Former England forward Sue Smith on BBC TV: "That will send out a statement to the rest of the world. That was a fantastic, professional performance. England had to defend in the second half and they did. It was brilliant from an England perspective."

Ex-Arsenal and England international Alex Scott on BBC TV: "In the friendly games we have been wasteful in front of goal but the goals we have scored in this tournament have been fantastic. We have been more clinical.

"Japan's defending could have been better but England have improved so I want to look at those positives. It's that winning feeling. There are so many positives to take from this tournament and you get to pick up silverware."

England defender Laura Bassett on BBC TV: "For England to go over to the USA and win this makes a big statement and ticks a lot of boxes... Japan were unlucky not to get a goal but it was great for England to keep a clean sheet."

England's SheBelieves Cup results
Japan 0-3 England (5 March)
USA 2-2 England (2 March)
England 2-1 Brazil (27 February)



Formation 4-4-2

  • 21Yamane
  • 22ShimizuSubstituted forMiyagawaat 80'minutes
  • 23Minami
  • 12OgaSubstituted forMomikiat 45'minutes
  • 3Sameshima
  • 8SakaguchiSubstituted forKobayashiat 45'minutes
  • 16Matsubara
  • 9Sugita
  • 14Hasegawa
  • 13IkejiriSubstituted forMiuraat 45'minutes
  • 19EndoSubstituted forYokoyamaat 45'minutes


  • 1Takenaka
  • 2Utsugi
  • 6Ariyoshi
  • 11Kobayashi
  • 15Momiki
  • 17Miura
  • 20Yokoyama
  • 24Miyagawa


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Telford
  • 2Bronze
  • 5HoughtonBooked at 85mins
  • 15Williamson
  • 3Greenwood
  • 8ChristiansenSubstituted forStanwayat 39'minutes
  • 4WalshSubstituted forBonnerat 59'minutes
  • 22MeadSubstituted forUbogaguat 65'minutes
  • 23StaniforthSubstituted forKirbyat 81'minutes
  • 20CarneySubstituted forDugganat 65'minutes
  • 9TaylorSubstituted forWhiteat 51'minutes


  • 1Bardsley
  • 6McManus
  • 7Parris
  • 10Kirby
  • 11Duggan
  • 12Stokes
  • 14Bonner
  • 16Ubogagu
  • 17Daly
  • 18White
  • 19Stanway
  • 21Earps
Christina Unkel

Match Stats

Home TeamJapanAway TeamEngland
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Japan 0, England 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Japan 0, England 3.

  3. Post update

    Hand ball by Ellen White (England).

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Narumi Miura (Japan) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Kumi Yokoyama.

  5. Post update

    Chioma Ubogagu (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Narumi Miura (Japan).

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Kumi Yokoyama (Japan) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Aya Sameshima.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Rikako Kobayashi (Japan) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Yuka Momiki with a cross.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Japan. Conceded by Alex Greenwood.

  10. Booking

    Stephanie Houghton (England) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Stephanie Houghton (England).

  12. Post update

    Hina Sugita (Japan) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, England. Francesca Kirby replaces Lucy Staniforth.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Japan. Asato Miyagawa replaces Risa Shimizu.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Japan. Conceded by Carly Telford.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Rikako Kobayashi (Japan) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Hina Sugita (Japan) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Georgia Stanway (England) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Alex Greenwood following a set piece situation.

  19. Post update

    Hand ball by Hina Sugita (Japan).

  20. Post update

    Foul by Ellen White (England).


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Wednesday 6th March 2019

  • USAUSA1BrazilBrazil0

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