SheBelieves Cup: England Women face USA, Japan and Spain in title defence

England won the four-team competition for the first time in 2019

England Women will defend their title at the invitational SheBelieves Cup from 5-11 March and will face hosts United States, Japan and Spain.

The Lionesses won the tournament for the first time in 2019 and have confirmed their participation in the event for a fifth consecutive year.

Spain, ranked 13th in the world, are making their debut in the event, while Japan are returning for a second time.

All four sides will play each other once in a round-robin format.

Phil Neville's team will begin their campaign against the world champions the United States in Orlando, Florida on Thursday, 5 March, with the game kicking off at midnight GMT at the start of 6 March.

A meeting with Japan follows on Sunday, 8 March at Harrison, New Jersey, before the Lionesses' campaign concludes against Spain on Wednesday, 11 March in Frisco, Texas.

The fixtures will be England's first since their 3-2 win in a friendly in the Czech Republic on 12 November.

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Karen Carney scores for England against Japan at the SheBelieves Cup in 2019.

"We are excited to take part as it is always such an exceptional competition, hosting some of the best teams in the world," Neville said.

"The high tempo and intensity of the competition provides a great test for our squad with matches taking place every few days. We were delighted to lift the trophy for the first time last year, and it is an achievement we hope to replicate this time around."

The tournament was founded and given its name following a social media campaign in 2015 spreading a message of female empowerment.

The six matches will take place as three double-headers at the three grounds.

SheBelieves Cup 2020 fixtures in full

  • 5 March: Spain v Japan at the Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida (21:15 GMT)
  • 5 March: USA v England at the Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida (19:00 ET; 00:00 GMT)
  • 8 March: Japan v England at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey (19:15 GMT)
  • 8 March: USA v Spain at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey (22:00 GMT)
  • 11 March: England v Spain at the Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas (22:15 GMT)
  • 11 March: USA v Japan at the Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas (19:00 CT; 01:00 GMT)

For last summer's World Cup winners the USA, 2020 is their first full year under the management of new boss Vlatko Andonovski, who replaced English coach Jill Ellis in October.

Both Spain and 2011 world champions Japan reached the last 16 of 2019's World Cup in France, losing to the USA and finalists the Netherlands respectively.

England reached the last four at the tournament before losing 2-1 to the USA after skipper Steph Houghton saw a late penalty saved in the dramatic semi-final in Lyon.

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