The United States women’s national football team ended the group stage of the Olympics on Tuesday with a 0-0 draw against Australia in Kashima.
The result means the Americans finished second in Group G and advanced to the quarter-finals. On Friday, the Dutch national team will play in Yokohama for the rematch of the 2019 World Cup final, where the 2002 Men’s World Cup final took place.
The Orange team closed the group match by beating China 8-2 to win their group. Star striker Vivian Miedema recovered from a thigh injury to play the final 28 minutes and score two goals. She now has eight goals in the tournament, an Olympic record.
There was no such entertainment in the American game. He only saw seven combined shots on target and the Americans had three. She generally excelled 10-8, dominating and possessing, with surprisingly little to no solid defense that was a critical part of Vlatko Andonovsky’s tenure in charge.
But when Group G leaders Sweden took a 2-0 lead over New Zealand in a concurrently played game, Andonovsky and his players knew they just needed a draw to finish. second. They did it because it was ugly.
“We came with the mentality that the first goal was to win the game, and the second goal was to perform well professionally.” Andonovsky to reporters In his press conference after the match. “We didn’t do the first one, but we did the second, which is very important because it put us in the same place in the end.”
Of course, fans who got up early or stayed up late at 4 a.m. ET won’t be happy with a draw, especially without a goal. They shouldn’t be either. While the Americans’ 6-1 win over New Zealand had many goals, the Football Firefighters were by far the worst team in that group. In the two American matches against quality competitors, they did not score.
READ MORE: US women’s football team beats New Zealand 6-1 to claim first victory at Tokyo Olympics
In the game, Alex Morgan had the best scoring chances for both teams in the first half, scoring an offside in the 31st minute when she managed a Kelly O’Hara cross outside the corner. . Early reruns seemed to show Morgan was on par with Australia’s final defender, but computer telemetry on the video replay booth showed Morgan clumsy with his shoulder – and possibly less.
At the time of the substitutions, all eyes were on US forward Lynn Williams, who missed the group’s first two games, in part with a minor injury. His defensive pace seemed well suited to face a ready-to-exploit Australian backline. Kristen Press and Megan Rapinoe usually fail to do this.
The situation came down to an American game in the 58th minute, in which six American players were initially offside, but the assistant referee let the streak end before his flag was raised. Still, wide open Kelly O’Hara missed a pass that Morgan picked up but pushed the ball towards the crossbar.
Television cameras filmed the US bank as Andonovsky rested his hands on his head, eyes wide open in disbelief.
He eventually substituted in the 65th minute, sending Lindsey Horan instead of Sam Mewes – whose pass was exceptionally bad in this game – and Tobin Heath instead of Rapinoe. Williams and Carli Lloyd came in 74th to replace Bryce and Morgan.
Andonovsky hinted that by the time Kristi Mewes replaced Rose Lavelle in 87th place, the standings were already known on the pitch.
“It was a great test for us today to see that the players can execute the game plan very well”, He said. “So whatever we feel, we have to do the [next] A game, we give it to them and then let them do their job.
However, the risks of showing the United States stepped up its game have not been met.
»Read more: How to Watch the Men’s Olympic Group Stage Final
Netherlands 7 points (+13 goal difference)
All four games will be played on Friday. TV channels have yet to be confirmed. All games will be available online at NBCOlympics.com.
4 hours: Canada. Against Brazil in Rifu
5 hours: Game between Great Britain and Australia in Kashima
6 hours: Sweden vs Japan in Saitama
07h00: Netherlands vs United States in Yokohama
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