By Martha Madigan

The rematch of the 2019 World Cup final didn’t disappoint as the United States rallied from a goal down to draw 1-1 against Netherlands.

Losing isn’t something that happens often to the USWNT: this was their first time trailing in a World Cup game since the 2011 quarterfinal against Brazil, breaking a tournament record 17-game streak without conceding first.

How did they respond? Well, after Jill Roord coolly fired the Dutch in front after poor defending allowed Victoria Pelova to tee up the Manchester City midfielder, the U.S. really struggled to get back into the game until Rose Lavelle entered as a half-time substitute. Gone was the poor pressing in the final third and lack of composure in possession; Lavelle’s entrance flipped the game upside down as the U.S. quickly seized control of the game.

It was also Lavelle who set up the equalizer, curling a dangerous corner into the box for Lindsey Horan to attack and nod beyond a helpless Daphne van Domselaar. Horan later admitted it was a tackle from Danielle van de Donk — who ended the game wearing a swim cap to stem the flow of blood after a clash of heads with Lavelle — that had fired her up.

But despite a slew of chances to grab the win in the final 20 minutes — including Alex Morgan’s disallowed goal, when replays showed she was clearly behind the last defender when Sophia Smith played the pass into the box — the U.S. and Dutch would settle for a hard-earned draw.

Group E is now shaping up nicely and the final round of matches on Aug. 1 will have plenty at stake.

Winning the group does yield a more gentle side of the knockout bracket, but the electrifying clash at Wellington Regional Stadium was one we’ll be talking about for a while, no matter who moves on to the round of 16.

About admin

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply