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U.S. beats Brazil 2-0 in SheBelieves Cup

Winners of the last two World Cups, the Americans are now unbeaten in 36 straight games overall and 52 straight at home.

United States forward Megan Rapinoe acknowledges fans after scoring during the second half of a SheBelieves Cup women’s soccer match against Brazil.
United States forward Megan Rapinoe acknowledges fans after scoring during the second half of a SheBelieves Cup women’s soccer match against Brazil.
Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP

ORLANDO, Fla. — Christen Press scored in the 11th minute, Megan Rapinoe added a late goal and the U.S. women beat Brazil 2-0 in the SheBelieves Cup on Sunday.

The United States sits atop the standings with six points after two wins. Canada beat Argentina 1-0 later in the day in the round-robin tournament. The tourney concludes Wednesday, when the U.S. team plays Argentina (0-2) and Canada (1-1) faces Brazil (1-1).

Winners of the last two World Cups, the Americans are unbeaten in 36 consecutive games overall and 52 in a row at home.

“One thing that I’ve learned playing on the U.S. women’s national team is that you have to prepare for every game as if it’s the most important game of your life,” Press said. “So that’s kind of the approach I take.”

The U.S. women have won five straight over Brazil and are unbeaten in the last seven meetings. The team is 20-0-2 against Brazil on American soil.

“I am disappointed in the start of the game, of course,’’ said Brazil coach Pia Sundhage, who coached the U.S. team from 2008 to 2012. ‘‘We conceded a goal. But not only a goal, the way we played our attack in the first 20 minutes. There’s room for improvement, for sure. But then the second half, and the fact that we created fairly many chances, I’m happy with that.”

Press took a pass from Lindsey Horan and rushed forward, fooling a defender before a powerful strike to the far corner of the net. It was Press’ 10th goal in her last 13 national-team games and 59th international goal.

“Lindsey played me a great ball in on a diagonal, so that I wasn’t in a crossing situation,’’ Press said. ‘‘I was actually able to cut in and open up the angle of the goal.”

Moments later, Crystal Dunn’s sliding tackle prevented Debinha on the breakaway. Brazil had a good chance in the 82nd minute, when Marta found Debinha in the box, but the shot went just wide.

It was the 10th straight shutout for U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who plays for the Red Stars.

Alex Morgan made her first start for the national team since giving birth to daughter Charlie last year. Morgan and Press were subbed out in the 71st minute and replaced by Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd. Horan served the ball into the box for Rapinoe, who scored in the 88th minute.

“I’m very happy that we’re creating chances, and the fact that we’re doing it in a manner that is very creative with some good plays makes me very happy and tells me that we’re moving in the right direction,” U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “Now the fact that we’re not finishing, it’s not disappointing, but it’s something we need to address.”

For the first time this year, all of the U.S. players stood for the national anthem before the game.

“I think those that were collectively kneeling felt like we were kneeling to bring about attention to police brutality and systemic racism,” Dunn said. “Moving forward, we decided we no longer feel the need to kneel because we are doing the work behind the scenes. We are combatting systemic racism. We never felt we were going to kneel forever.”