World Cup: USWNT win Group F, defeat Sweden in key rivalry match

USWNT win over Sweden
LE HAVRE, FRANCE — JUNE 20: Lindsey Horan of USA celebrates scoring her team's opening goal with team mates during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France group F match between Sweden and USA at on June 20, 2019 in Le Havre, France. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) (USWNT win)

Le Harve, France (June 20, 2019) — The quest for revenge is complete — so far. The U.S. Women’s National Team wrapped up a major victory at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, collecting three points over arch-rival Sweden. The USWNT’s win means a perfect group stage in Group F.

The match was the United States’ first real test of the World Cup. While Chilean goalkeeper Cristiane Endler proved to be a bigger task than the USA thought, Sweden took more chances at goal. U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher was forced to make two saves to give the United States a clean sheet.

World Cup: USWNT win Group F, defeat Sweden in key rivalry match

Meanwhile, the Swedish players didn’t have luck on their side.

In the opening three minutes, Lindsey Horan found the back of the net. Disaster struck for Sweden in the 50th minute, when Jonna Andersson knocked in a goal past her own goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl.

This was the fifth-consecutive time that the United States and Sweden met in the FIFA Women’s World Cup group stage. Back in 2015, both sides battled to a scoreless draw. They met up a year later at the Rio Olympics, where Sweden captured a big victory which marked the United States not going to the quarterfinals for the first time. However, in a friendly in 2017, Rose Lavelle scored the game-winning, and redemption receiving, goal in a friendly.

The history between the United States and Sweden is immense. However, the fact that Horan was the one who scored is a huge testament to how the rivalry is changing. After this match, there’s nobody calling people “cowards” — as Hope Solo infamously did after the Olympic games. The USWNT secured a win, and that’s what mattered.

Instead, both teams still move on in the FIFA World Cup. The United States will take on Spain in the Round of 16 on Monday. The two sides met earlier this year, in a friendly at the Estadio José Rico Pérez. Christen Press scored the lone goal in the USWNT’s 1-0 victory.

As for the Swedes, they will take on Canada on Monday.

Three Takeaways

  1. A couple injuries sees cautious USA team: Jill Ellis isn’t taking any chances in the World Cup. Julie Ertz was pulled out of the starting lineup due to an undisclosed injury. However, she did warm up with the team. Ellis wasn’t risking her getting a worse injury, just like she did with Becky Sauerbrunn in the first match against Thailand. Ertz did say, though, that she’ll be ready for Spain.
  2. But, will Alex Morgan be ready? Alex Morgan was pulled out at halftime with an undisclosed “knock,” as Ellis called it. She took her out for precaution. The United States has depth, so they don’t have to worry too much if Morgan is missing for a match. Slotting Christen Press or Mallory Pugh up top is never a bad idea.
  3. Naeher will be tested against Spain: Sweden was hyped up to push and pressure Alyssa Naeher. While they did take some shots, Naeher will really get a big test against Spain — specifically Jennifer Hermoso. The United States will have a tough task with keeping her under wraps.

 

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