The USA Women’s National Team slugged out a 1-0 win over Brazil in the W Gold Cup Final on Sunday night. Lindsey Horan’s goal in first-half stoppage time ensured the USWNT won the inaugural tournament. The game at Snapdragon Stadium welcomed 31,528 fans, which was the largest crowd in the United States for a women’s event hosted by CONCACAF. The trophy ensures the United States remains atop the women’s national teams in the Americas after a spell of disappointing results. It is also the latest trophy after the USWNT’s earliest exit in Women’s World Cup history in the summer of 2023.

Brazil and the USWNT played a physical first half, with fouls rampant on both sides. Neither side delivered an overly impressive first half in terms of chances. Yet, the USWNT did enough to ensure it went into the halftime break with the lead. Emily Fox had the ball on the right side of the field. A lofted cross from 30 yards away reached a dangerous area on the far corner of the six-yard box. Lindsey Horan, serving as the USWNT’s captain, rose among the Brazilian defenders. She nodded the ball against the face of the goal. Brazil goalkeeper Luciana was helpless as the ball nestled into the corner of the goal.

Lynn Williams thought she doubled the USWNT’s lead in the second half. After 79 minutes, the substitute had the ball in the back of the net. However, she was offside on the original pass that played her in alone. As a result, Brazil remained behind by a single goal.

Yet, the stout USWNT defense had a sensational evening. Naomi Girma and Tierna Davidson anchored the defense as center-backs. As a result, the Americans did not allow a single shot on target from Brazil for the entire game. Despite 11 efforts from Brazil, Alyssa Naeher did not need to perform heroics like she did in the semifinal.

W Gold Cup win over Brazil gives USA another trophy

This win returns the USWNT to a familiar spot: lifting trophies after finals against top opposition. For a brief period, critics pointed to recent hiccups that past USWNT teams would never succumb to. For example, the Women’s World Cup exit and the recent loss to Mexico in this W Gold Cup raised question marks. Regardless of all that, the United States claimed its 15th title in women’s CONCACAF events.

The success also sets the tone for when Emma Hayes shows up as the head coach in May of this year. The current Chelsea FC Women’s side boss will have massive expectations when she leads the Stars and Stripes from the bench.

Tournament awards

Jaedyn Shaw, the forward who scored four goals for the USWNT in this competition, won the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player. Also, Alyssa Naeher, the hero of the semifinal shootout win against Canada, won the Golden Glove. The United States will not reconvene as a team for one month. It is playing in the SheBelieves Cup on April 6. Twila Kilgore will lead the United States against Japan in the semifinal game. Then, the USWNT could face Brazil in the final in a rematch of the W Gold Cup Final.