On this day in 2019: England beat Japan to win SheBelieves Cup
England won the SheBelieves Cup for the first time on this day in 2019 with a 3-0 victory over Japan.
Lucy Staniforth, Karen Carney and Beth Mead all scored in the first half as the Lionesses followed up a 2-1 win against Brazil and 2-2 draw with hosts the United States to finish top of the round-robin invitational tournament’s table.
The opener at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa came when Staniforth unleashed a low shot in the 12th minute before Carney’s header doubled the advantage in the 23rd, with Jodie Taylor providing the assist for both goals.
We came here to win.
The 2019 #SheBelievesCup winners: your #Lionesses! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/sJfjVNNT9a
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) March 6, 2019
Mead then fired in the third on the half-hour mark, having cut inside from the right after a superb pass by Keira Walsh.
Phil Neville, England’s manager at the time whose side were building up to the summer’s World Cup in France, said: “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 USA, Japan and Brazil talk about how good we are. But we remain humble, have fun and enjoy moments like this.
Congratulations, @Lionesses – you're the #SheBelievesCup champions! pic.twitter.com/E3lzT0utc7
— England (@England) March 6, 2019
“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.”
A negative for the team was Izzy Christiansen coming off injured towards the end of the first half after a hefty collision with Japan defender Risa Shimizu.
The midfielder subsequently underwent ankle surgery and did not make Neville’s squad for the World Cup.