In the first running of the tournament which saw the top four international women’s teams go head to head, the winners, at the end of a round-robin process, were the hosts and world champions USA. The favourites prevailed 2-1 over Germany in the deciding match.
The tournament was held over a period of 6 days within the cities of Tampa Bay, Nashville and Boca Raton. Fresh from their world cup triumph in Canada the previous year, the US were rightly seen as favourites, although when the top four sides in the world square off, no one knows what might transpire. Every game throughout was decided by only one goal, barring England and Frances’ goalless draw.
The first round of fixtures saw Germany overcome France 1-0 thanks to a late Maier stikre from a set-piece; whilst the USA saw off England with the same scoreline thanks to a lovely finish from Crystal Dunn. The substitute fired a rocket from 20 yards out into the top righthand corner of Bardsley’s goal.
The teams then made the trip to Nashville, Tennesse for the second round of matches, the first of which, saw the USA defeat France 1-0. The American keeper Hope Solo performed brilliantly throughout, gaining her 97th international clean sheet, and this inevitably allowed the American’s to steal it with an Alex Morgan goal in stoppage time. The match was played infront of a record 25,363 spectators at Nissan Stadium. Germany also prevailed, coming back from a goal down against England to evntually win 2-1, thereby moving level on points with the US. Duggan headed the lionesses infront nine minutes in, before an own goal from Flaherty and a controversial pentaly coverted by Peter 8 minutes from time secured Germany’s victory.
The final round of games took place in Boca Raton, Florida. England and France would fight it out for third place whilst the US and Germany battled for the trophy. The two european heavyweights played out a 0-0 draw in the early match, a result which saw England claim third place on goals scored throughout the tournament. Later, the eagerly anticipated showdown between Germany and the world champions kicked-off. Mittag shocked the American’s on 29 minutes, her long range volley left the hosts needing two goals to win the tournament. The American response was immediate, the world’s best player, Alex Morgan, showed sublime skill before firing home just 6 minutes after Germany took the lead. Mewis then scored the title winning goal just six minutes later; after dispossessing an opponent, she unleahed an effort which deflected and sneaked under German keeper, Schult.
America completed the clean sweep of individual awards, to add to their team triumph: Alex Morgan won both the golden ball and golden boot awards, whilst Hope Solo was awarded the golden glove after conceding only one goal throughout the tournament.