USWNT draws Portugal to advance in 2023 Women’s World Cup – NBC Chicago

The U.S. women’s national team’s hopes of a historic Women’s World Cup three-peat are still alive.

The Gals picked up a 0-0 draw against Portugal in their final Group E match at Eden Park in Auckland, Australia, on Tuesday.

The scoreless tie, combined with the Netherlands’ dismantling of Vietnam on Tuesday, puts the USWNT in second place in the group. Based on Women’s World Cup tiebreakers, the USWNT would have needed to beat Portugal by at least five goals on Tuesday to win Group E.

The USWNT has the right goal post to thank for its survival. Portugal’s Ana Capeta ripped a shot past American goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher in the opening minute of second-half stoppage time, but it rang off the post and back into play to preserve a 0-0 score.

Despite moving on, Vlatko Andonovski’s squad will have plenty to work on ahead of the Round of 16 based on Tuesday’s play.

Through the opening 45 minutes, the U.S. were by far outplayed by a hungrier Portuguese side that deployed fresher legs after manager Francisco Neto rotated the squad for its match against Vietnam.

The lack of a coherent gameplan was also evident. As soon as the U.S. broke out in transition or regained possession in any part of the field, no one knew where to pass to next and Portugal’s press effectively won the ball back.

Lindsey Horan and Morgan, the USWNT captains, combined for an early chance in the second half, but the team was once again kept out of the net. Morgan had another chance in the 84th minute before shooting right into Portuguese goalkeeper Ines Pereira.

Rose Lavelle also picked up a yellow card, which would see her miss the round of 16 match should they advance.

The Americans brought out Megan Rapinoe to replace Smith in the 61st minute. The team then waited until the waning minutes of the game to make additional substitutions.

If the Gals do finish second in the group, it would be just the second ever time it’s happened in Women’s World Cup history. The only group runner-ups to win the tournament was Japan in 2011, who had done so by beating the U.S. in the final via a penalty shootout.

This story will be updated…

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