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World Cup Recap: United States 1 - 1 Netherlands
U.S. battles back to earn a point as their World Cup winning streak comes to an end.
The United States Women’s National Team returned to World Cup action Wednesday night as they traveled to Sky Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand, to take on the Netherlands.
Despite not having the greatest outing in their Group Stage opener, the Stars & Stripes picked up a commanding 3-0 victory over Vietnam on Friday thanks to a brace from rising star Sophia Smith and another goal from Lindsey Horan. The Netherlands eeked out a narrow 1-0 victory over Portugal in their Group Stage opener on Sunday thanks to Stefanie van der Gragt’s 13th-minute goal.
Wednesday’s match was critical to the United States as they entered atop Group E with three points. With Portugal tied on points but behind on goal differential, a U.S. victory over the Dutch would see the Stars & Stripes book their ticket to the knockout stage.
There were no modifications to the starting lineup as Vlatko Andonovski rolled out a 4-3-3 formation. Alyssa Naeher started in goal, with Crystal Dunn, Naomi Girma, Julie Ertz, and Emily Fox providing the defense. Lindsey Horan, Andi Sullivan, and Savannah DeMelo were in the midfield, with Sophia Smith, Alex Morgan, and Trinity Rodman providing the attack.
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Dunn almost got the United States offense rolling in the 6th minute as she cut a ball into the box that miraculously evaded two Dutch defenders. Dunn’s ball rolled directly to Alex Morgan, but the veteran forward could not get her foot to the ball as Daphne van Domselaar dove onto the ball.
Netherland’s offense got rolling in the 17th minute as Victoria Pelova received the ball atop the box and sent a shot at Naeher. Pelova’s strike failed to reach the goal as it deflected off a defender, but Pelova was all over the rebound.
Pelova cut the ball centrally to Jill Roord who wasted no time as she one-timed Pelova’s pass and lobbed the ball past Naeher and into the left side of the goal to give the Netherlands a 1-0 lead.
The United States only change for the match came before the start of the second half as Rose Lavelle replaced Savannah DeMelo. Lavelle became the first U.S. player to enter the book as she received a yellow card in the 51st minute after laying a harsh challenge on Jakie Groenon.
Horan strapped the United States to her back in the 62nd minute as she positioned herself perfectly to head Lavelle’s corner kick past Daphne van Domselaar and into the net to level the game.
Rodman’s tackle provided the United States a counterattack opportunity in the 67th minute as she lobbed the ball up the right flank to Morgan. The veteran got onto Rodman’s ball and turned towards goal as she withstood the Dutch pressure.
Morgan found herself one-on-one with van Domselaar as she slotted the ball past the keeper to give the U.S. the lead. That was until the assistant referee instantaneously raised their flag as the goal did not stand as Morgan was in an offside position before Trinity Rodman lobbed the ball forward.
The United States nearly found the winner in the 83rd minute as Lavelle’s corner kick sailed to the center of the box, Morgan got a slight touch to the ball as it bounced off a defender’s head and into the box. An open Smith got onto the bouncing ball and volleyed the ball to the left side of the goal but just when it looked like Smith’s volley was going in, Lieke Martens cleared the shot off the goal line and out for a corner kick.
With the draw, the United States' 13-game World Cup-winning streak ended. The U.S. still finds themselves atop Group E with four points. Wednesday’s opponent, the Netherlands, finds themselves in second also with four points but with a lower goal differential than the U.S. Portugal and Vietnam find themselves on the outside looking in as both nations remain at zero points.
The United States returns to action on Tuesday, August 1st, as they face Portugal in their Group Stage finale at 3:00 AM ET on FOX.