Women's Sport: What you need to know ahead of the SheBelieves Cup

The SheBelieves Cup 2020 will kick-off on Thursday evening in the United States.

England won the tournament last year and face 2019 Women’s World Cup winners the USA in their opening game.

The competition consists of four nations – the United States, England, Japan, and for the first time, Spain. 

All four nations will compete over a seven day period with the aim of taking home the trophy.

The SheBelieves Cup began in 2016, making this year’s competition the fifth consecutive tournament.

England and hosts the USA are the only two teams to compete in the previous four campaigns as well as the upcoming 2020 competition. Both France and Germany have each competed in three SheBelieves Cups in 2016, 2017, and 2018. 

So who has won the cup in the past?

The United States won the inaugural trophy in 2016, with France being victorious the following year. 

America then took back the cup in 2018, before Phil Neville’s England side won the tournament last year.

This year’s fixtures and kick-off times (GMT):

The opening game of the competition will see newcomers Spain take on Japan on March 5 in Florida – kick-off at 9:15 pm.

This match is followed by the eagerly anticipated clash between the USA and England on March 6 – kick-off for that fixture is at 12:00 am.

The Lionesses’ second game of their SheBelieves title defence is against Japan on March 8, taking place in New Jersey and kicking off at 6:15 pm.

This fixture is then followed by the United States taking on Spain at the same venue, with kick-off coming at 9:00 pm.

The final two matches of the tournament will take place in Texas, with England battling Spain at 9:15 pm on March 11.

The campaign will then come to an end a few hours later, when the U.S. take on Japan at 12:00 am on March 12.

How can you watch the games?

You’ll be able to watch every Lionesses’ game on the BBC. Phil Neville’s sides’ opening fixture will be shown on BBC Two, with their other two matches being broadcast on BBC Four.

One to watch from each side:

USA: Lindsey Horan – The 25-year-old was the country’s highest goalscorer in their 2020 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying games, scoring six goals. This included netting in the 71st minute against Canada in the final.

England: Beth England – Selected by Neville due to her impressive form so far for Women’s Super League club Chelsea. The 25-year-old has scored 19 goals in all competitions for the Blues this season and could very well pip Ellen White to a starting place on March 6.

Japan: Yuka Momiki – The only scorer in Japan’s last fixture, the 23-year-old has scored 10 goals in 30 appearances for her nation since 2017; four of which came in just nine appearances last year. 

Spain: Aitana Bonmati – The 22-year-old has made 24 appearances, scoring seven goals in all competitions for Barcelona this season. She also scored in Spain’s last international win against the Czech Republic on October 8 last year.

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