HomeFootball NewsUnited States Nervously Advances to Last 16 as Netherlands Dominates

United States Nervously Advances to Last 16 as Netherlands Dominates

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In a nerve-wracking encounter, the United States managed to secure a spot in the Women’s World Cup last 16 with a shaky 0-0 draw against debutants Portugal on Tuesday. Their performance left much to be desired, raising concerns among fans about their chances in the upcoming stages.

Nonetheless, the reigning champions advanced to the knockout round, finishing second in Group E behind a dominant Netherlands team that showcased their prowess with a resounding 7-0 victory against Vietnam.

The United States came into the tournament as favorites to win an unprecedented third consecutive World Cup, surpassing even England in the eyes of many. However, their performance so far has been far from their usual dominance in international women’s football, leaving fans and critics questioning their potential for further progress.

Portugal came agonizingly close to achieving a historic victory over the Americans, with substitute Ana Capeta hitting the post in injury time, nearly sealing the win. The tension-filled match, witnessed by almost 41,000 fans in Auckland, showcased the determination of both teams. Despite the close call, the United States managed to hold on, but their performance must significantly improve if they aspire to go far in the tournament.

In the last 16, the United States is likely to face a formidable Sweden team, who demonstrated their strength with a stunning 5-0 victory against Italy in their previous match. US coach Vlatko Andonovski acknowledged the need for improvement and sought to view the performance in a positive light, emphasizing the relative novelty of the team playing together.

While the United States struggled, the Netherlands displayed their might with a commanding 7-0 demolition of Vietnam. The Dutch team, which drew 1-1 with the United States last week in a rematch of the 2019 final, showcased their attacking prowess and topped Group A with seven points and a goal difference of plus eight. The Netherlands’ impressive performance cements their status as strong contenders in the tournament.

As the group stage nears its conclusion, England, as the European champions, aims to secure a smooth path to the knockouts by securing a draw against China to finish as Group D winners. However, they will be without key midfielder Keira Walsh, who is sidelined with a knee injury. Should England advance as group winners, they will face Nigeria next in the last 16.

On Wednesday, Brazil faces a must-win match against Jamaica to secure a spot in the knockout rounds. The legendary Marta, the all-time leading goal-scorer in World Cups, aims to leave a lasting legacy as she potentially makes her final World Cup appearance.

The emotional football great reflected on her extraordinary journey and the impact she has had on women’s football, shedding tears as she discussed her transformation from an idol-less era to becoming a revered reference point for aspiring players.

As the Women’s World Cup progresses, the competition intensifies, and teams strive to leave their mark on football history. The stage is set for thrilling matches, unforgettable performances, and moments that will define the tournament’s legacy.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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