By Karen Price | March 05, 2019, 10:37 p.m. (ET)
Tobin Heath looks to set the ball up in the first half against Brazil at the SheBelieves Cup on March 5, 2019 in Tampa, Fla.

 

The U.S. women’s soccer players knew even before Tuesday’s SheBelieves Cup finale against Brazil that they would not defend their title no matter the outcome of the game.

As far as ending things on a good note in the tournament that many see as the unofficial kickoff to this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup preparations, however, there was plenty on the line and the U.S. responded with a 1-0 win in Tampa, Florida. The win put Team USA second in the four-team, round-robin tournament.

With 20 minutes gone in the game, Tobin Heath turned on the afterburners at midfield and took off with the ball. She cut toward center and sent a pass up to captain Alex Morgan on the left. Brazil’s goalkeeper made the stop, but the rebound went directly to Heath. She sent the ball high and long to finish it off with a goal.

That would stand as the lone goal of the game.

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Ashlyn Harris made a nice stop late in the game to make sure the U.S. went home with the victory.

The U.S. women played to a draw in both of the first two games of the tournament, now in its fourth year. First they tied Japan 2-2 in the opener last week, then played to the same result against England on Saturday.

England claimed the tournament title with a 3-0 win over Japan prior to Team USA’s match against Brazil.

The U.S. won the tournament in 2016 and 2018, with England earning its first win in 2017.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.