After opening their title defense with a dominating win over Vietnam, the United States turns its attention to its toughest test of the group stage. The two finalists from the tournament’s 2019 edition rematch – with three points on the line and a chance to secure a spot in the knockout rounds. Fans can take in the match at Heart Health Park before Republic FC kicks off against Phoenix Rising FC.
The Matchup: USAvNED
- Stage: Group E, Matchday 2
- 6:00 PM PT kickoff
- Venue: Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand
- Watch: FOX40
- Watch Party: Heart Health Park – Match ticket to #SACvPHX required
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How to Watch
Fans can take in the action from New Zealand at Heart Health Park before Republic FC takes on Phoenix Rising FC. To allow fans to catch kick-off, gates will open at 6:00PM, with a big screen present in the concourse showing the match. A match ticket to Republic FC’s contest against Phoenix is required for entry.
Outlook: United States
Team USA put in a stellar performance in its shutout victory over Vietnam to open the tournament. Constant pressure on the attack allowed the squad to outshoot their foes 28-0 as the Americans had little trouble breaking lines and getting in behind. Sophia Smith put in a first half brace with scores in the 14th minute and again in first half stoppage time, before Lindsey Horan added a third for the Americans with a 77th minute score.
Against the Dutch, the Stars and Stripes will need to maintain that relentlessness that led to the lopsided possession and attacking stats. But the squad missed a handful of golden opportunities they will need to put away in order to record a second straight victory. Setting the tone against a far superior Dutch defense by getting Alex Morgan and company going early may be what decides the game.
The Dutch – which entered ninth in the world rankings – put in a strong opening performance against a Portuguese side that could challenge for a spot in the knockout stage. A 13th minute score from Stefanie van der Gragt proved to be all they needed as the squad’s backline saw out the game with a stellar showing to keep a clean sheet. They were strong on the counter, providing additional opportunities as the contest went on.
The match means a lot to the Orange Lionesses as they face off with the nation that defeated them in the 2019 title match, as well as in the Quarterfinals at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics by way of penalty shootout. The Dutch haven’t bested the U.S. in nine meetings – claiming the first between the nations back in 1991. As a result, the squad will have a massive chip on its shoulder and will give all it has to take down the world’s best. Its strong backline and midfield may give the U.S. issues – provided they can maintain the quality showed last week.