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United States' Samantha Mewis drives past Brazil's Erika during the first half of a SheBelieves Cup soccer match Image Credit: AP

Tampa: While the United States didn’t win the SheBelieves Cup tournament on home soil, coach Jill Ellis is still encouraged with the team’s progress as they prepare for the Women’s World Cup.

Tobin Heath scored in the first half and the United States finished the SheBelieves Cup with a 1-0 victory over Brazil on Tuesday night.

“I’ve already come out of this tournament with less question marks, because of the takeaways in terms of personnel and different things that we’ve seen, and that feels good,” Ellis said. “Obviously you want to lift that trophy, 100 per cent, you want to win every game, but now it’s going in with even more clarity. I think that’s a positive.”

It was the final game of the four-team, round-robin tournament played in three cities. England defeated Japan 3-0 in the early game at Raymond James Stadium on Tuesday to win the SheBelieves Cup title. The United States finished second on points.

“This is nice, we’re happy, but for me it’s small compared to where we want to be,” England coach Phil Neville said. “This is just the first step.”

— AP