The United States, who are the current champions of the Women’s World Cup, played Portugal to a scoreless tie on Tuesday in order to finish second in Group E, which was won by the Netherlands. This allowed the United States to advance to the round of 16.
When the defending champions of Europe go up against China in hopes of earning the draw that would advance them to the knockout round as the top team in Group D, England will be hoping for a lot less hardship than that.
The United States arrived in Australia and New Zealand as the odds-on favorite to win the World Cup for a record-setting third time in a row, even surpassing England in this regard.
However, they have not been anything close to the squad that has dominated international women’s football for such a long time, and they will need to be a lot better if they are to go much farther in the competition.
In front of roughly 41,000 people in Auckland, Portugal’s substitute Ana Capeta came within inches of scoring the game-winning goal they needed to advance and eliminate the United States from contention when she struck the post in injury time.
But the United States were able to hang on and will most likely play a Sweden squad in the round of 16, which has a recent record of 5-0 victory against Italy.
Vlatko Andonovski, the head coach of the United States national team, sought to put a positive gloss on what was an embarrassingly bad performance by the side that is rated number one in the FIFA rankings.
He said that “the most important thing was to get the job done,” and I agree with him.
This is a relatively fresh group of individuals who have not been working together for a very long period.
“The longer they spend time together, the more opportunities will present themselves.”
The Netherlands, which last week tied the United States team 1-1 in a rematch of the 2019 final, notched the largest victory of this World Cup with a 7-0 rout of Vietnam, who had already been eliminated from the competition.
The Dutch finished in first place in the group with seven points and a goal difference of plus eight. Esmee Brugts and Jill Roord both scored twice for their national team.
The United States came in second place with five points, while Portugal finished in third place with four points. Vietnam was not successful in gaining a point.
If England are successful in their match against China and claim first place in Group D, their next opponent will be Nigeria.
Due to a knee injury, the team captained by Sarina Wiegman won’t have the services of important midfielder Keira Walsh.
Denmark and England are now in first place in their group, and if they defeat Haiti, Denmark will join England in advancing out of the group stage.
In the round of 16, co-hosts Australia are waiting.
The tears shed by Marta
On Wednesday, Brazil will have to win their match against Jamaica in order to ensure that they will advance to the knockout stages. The only thing Jamaica needs is a point.
Marta, a legendary player in the sport of football, was brought to tears as her countrywoman pondered on her career and legacy on the eve of what may be her last participation in the World Cup.
Marta, who is 37 years old and was given the moniker “Pele in a skirt” by the late great Pele, has already said that this will be her last World Cup appearance.
She has scored more goals than any other player in the history of the World Cup, whether it be for men or women, and if she adds to her current total of 17, she would become the first football player in history to score at six different World Cups.
“Do you have any idea what’s great? She told reporters on the eve of the game that “when I started there were no idols in women’s football.” With tears welling up in her eyes, she described the situation.
“How could there possibly be if you didn’t broadcast any of the women’s football games? How was it possible for me to comprehend that I would make it to the national team and become a point of reference?
“Now when I go out on the street, people stop me and say things like, ‘My daughter adores you, and she wants to be just like you,'” she said. “Now when I go out on the street, people stop me.”
Also on Wednesday, France will play Panama in the same Group F competition, and a point will be enough for France to advance.
Both Sweden and South Africa have already qualified for the next round, therefore Group G has just two matches.
If Italy wins, they will advance to face the Dutch in the next round; however, even a draw will likely be enough for them to qualify.