Crystal Dunn: ‘It’s going to come down to whoever wants it more’
The United States wraps up Group F play at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup against Sweden at 3 p.m. Stay tuned for live updates, highlights and analysis as the top-ranked United States continues the quest for its record fourth Women’s World Cup title in France.
The final whistle sounds as the United States Women’s National Team exacts revenge for the 2016 Olympics loss against Sweden. Team USA defeats Sweden, 2-0, and now heads to the Round of 16 on Monday against Spain as the Group F winners.
Sweden has had chances in the second half, but either Team USA’s defense or goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher have kept the clean sheet intact. Also, FIFA has changed the 50th minute goal from Tobin Heath to an own goal. Her shot did glance off a defender’s leg before finding the net.
U.S. winger Tobin Heath puts Team USA up 2-0 over Sweden. Carli Lloyd, who came in to start the second half in place of Alex Morgan, was calling for the ball from Heath, who opted to create some space and take a shot that found the net. VAR (video assistant referee) has a check due to Lloyd being in an offside position when the ball was played, but the goal was ruled good despite the potential for Lloyd impacting the play.
We begin the second half with a substitution for Team USA. Star striker Alex Morgan is taken off and veteran Carli Lloyd comes on in her place. Lloyd is also wearing the captain’s armband. There’s no report whether Morgan was substituted due to injury or not.
The United States leads rival Sweden 1-0 after the first 45 minutes. Lindsey Horan’s goal came in the third minute. It’s her 10th international goal. It’s been an open game with end-to-end counter attacking play. However, both defenses have snuffed out most attacks. Team USA has controlled possession and more of the attacks thus far. The U.S. has 66 percent of the ball with 11 shots (three on target) to Sweden’s five shots (two on target).
Sweden drives forward and has its first real chance at scoring the equalizer. Alyssa Naeher makes the save for Team USA and the Americans retain a 1-0 lead.
A U.S. turnover in the back paves the way for Sweden’s first shot on goal. It’s hit right at Team USA goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who saves it. Still 1-0 for the United States.
The United States is dominating the action so far. Sweden hasn’t really threatened in the attacking third, while Team USA has been quicker to most of the 50/50 balls. Team USA already has three corners and Crystal Dunn blasted a shot over the cross bar on the most recent set piece.
GOAL! Team USA scores off a corner to strike first against Sweden. Lindsey Horan gets to it off Megan Rapinoe’s low corner that trickled across the goal mouth for an easy tap-in. The United States leads Sweden, 1-0.
The United States is going with its starting lineup that thrashed Thailand with a World Cup-record 13-0 scoreline, though there is one change. Julie Ertz, who scored a goal against Chile, is out with a hip contusion, according to multiple reports. Sweden, meanwhile, made seven changes to its lineup.
Winning the group means a perceived tougher draw to the final with three of the top six-ranked teams in the FIFA Women’s World Ranking — England, France and Australia — already placed on that half of the knockout bracket. A runner-up finish in the group gives an easier path.
Team USA just needs a draw to win the group after entering with a plus-16 goal differential, the largest in the tournament.
The United States Women’s National Team faces its first test of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The previous two opponents, Thailand and Chile, were outmatched and outclassed. The U.S. scored a World Cup-record 13 goals against Thailand, before changing seven players from the starting lineup in routing Chile 3-0. That game with Chile could have seen a more lopsided scoreline if not for Chilean goalkeeper Christiane Endler.
Sweden also ran through the other Group F opponents with ease. Due to the goal difference heading into Thursday’s match, Sweden must beat Team USA to win the group and face Spain in the Round of 16 on Monday. A draw means the U.S. tops the group and Sweden plays Canada in Paris on Monday.
The two rivals have played 38 times since 1987 and five times since 2013. In the last five meetings, Team USA has only one win. Among those last five matchups was a Sweden victory in the 2016 Olympics, which came in the quarterfinals. That served as the earliest exit at a major tournament for the USWNT.