It’s winner takes all as the Lionesses take on Japan in the final game of the SheBelieves Cup this evening, and a win for either team is all it takes for the trophy to be lifted in this top of the table clash.
This is the final tournament before the World Cup takes place in France over the summer, and a win for Phil Neville’s team would stand them in good stead ahead of the competition. Anything less than a victory for the side could see them slump to second or third place, with Japan currently sitting top of the table after England battled out for a 2-2 draw with USA earlier in the week.
Neville exclaimed that this will be a tough test, saying that Japan have been the best team in the competition so far. The Lionesses goalkeeper, Carly Telford has further said that winning the SheBelieves Cup would give them a positive mentality going into the Summer World Cup. Captain Steph Houghton recently lifted the Women’s Continental Cup in February, captaining Manchester City to victory on penalties against Arsenal.
Houghton is expected to captain the England side, who sit four places above the Japan Women in the FIFA World Rankings. A win from Japan would result in them topping the group, leading them to the first major trophy in their countries history. There is a chance that USA could retain the trophy however, if they overcome Brazil later in the evening and Neville’s side succumbs to a low-scoring draw.
The match takes place at 22:25 GMT, in Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium.