Women’s World Cup: USA Advances After Portugal Draw

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The United States of America (USA) advanced to the knockout stages of the Women’s World Cup after a 0-0 draw against Portugal on Tuesday, surviving a late onslaught from the tournament debutants to keep its title defence alive at Eden Park.

The four-time champions were playing with everything on the line but spurned several chances to find the net and the addition of veteran Megan Rapinoe in the second half did little to turn things around against a physical Portugal defence.

They survived a huge scare in stoppage time when Ana Capeta hit the post and another when the striker won a free kick just outside the box a few minutes later. However, the Americans held on in a tense final minutes of the Group E clash to progress.

“It’s tough to be second, we wanted to go through first,” said USA’s Alex Morgan. “This team gave everything we just didn’t put the ball in the back of the net. And then in the last few minutes, we just had to hold it down.

“We had to get the result and move on, now we move forward. It’s just not going in the back of the net. We have so many corners, we have so many opportunities, we got the crosses, I mean just unlucky you know.”

The stadium let out a collective gasp as Capeta’s stoppage-time shot struck the post and the Americans scrambled together a frantic defence to avoid an unthinkable fate in the final moments of the match.

The USA move on to the last 16 in Melbourne, where they will face Sweden after finishing in second place in Group E behind the Netherlands. The Dutch thrashed Vietnam 7-0 to top the group.

Tuesday’s FIFA Women’s World Cup results

Vietnam 0 – 7 Netherlands

Portugal 0 – 0 USA

Haiti 0 – 2 Denmark

China 1 – 6 England.

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