For the first time in almost a year -- the 2020 SheBelieves Cup -- the USA was actually threatened.
Coloradoan Janine Beckie had two great chances for Canada -- the second after left back Crystal Dunn slipped a back pass right to Nichelle Prince -- but shot straight at U.S. keeper Alyssa Naeher. Six minutes before the U.S. goal, the Canadians appealed unsuccessfully for a handball on Midge Purse, who started at right back in the place of injured Kelley O'Hara.
"The chances they created were after we lost the ball," said U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski. "It wasn't because they broke us down. We lost the ball in the middle, and they broke straight down towards our goal."
Canada offered a blueprint for how to stymie the U.S. attack, clogging the middle and forcing the Americans to execute on the flanks.
"We created some good opportunities after some good buildup," Andonovski said. "We were able to break them down with some creativity but we were no able to execute. I'm just glad after missing all those chances we were able to score a goal."
Rose Lavelle's goal came in the 79th minute, 15 minutes after she entered the game with Alex Morgan and Christen Press in a triple substitution. Andonovski said Lavelle's ability to find little openings in wide pockets helped break open the Canadian defense.
“When we create 10 opportunities to score and we score one, I’m disappointed" he said, "because I want us to score more goals. And on top of that, if we allow any shots on goal, I’m not going to be happy. I thought that tonight, they had couple a couple of good opportunities to score, and we’re going to look into it a little bit deeper why that happened.”