The United States Women's National Team won their third and final game of the group stage at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup on Thursday night against Sweden. The 2-0 victory means that the United States progresses as the leader in Group F, but both Sweden and the Americans were already assured of a place in the knockout round as they entered the match with six points each.
Horan puts the USWNT on top early
The United States got off to their best start of the tournament when Lindsey Horan was able to slip one past Swedish goalkeeper in the third minute. Megan Rapinoe took the corner, which curled low into the six-yard box. Samantha Mewis flicked the ball on with her foot, and it found the charging Horan just a yard from goal. She cut inside the defender and redirected it home.
The next 40 minutes were a flurry of chances between the two teams. The best opportunity of the period for Sweden came from Kosovare Asllani received a slip pass and found herself faced up against United States goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. Her shot was sent right into the gut of Naeher and never really posed a threat. On the other end, Rapinoe had a similar opportunity from a tighter angle on the left side of the Swedish goal. In the end, she just pounded the shot into side netting, but neither side was letting off the gas. Despite their best efforts, neither team would score in the first half and they would head into the locker room with the USA leading 1-0.
Heath helps seal the win in the second half
The second half saw Alex Morgan exit the match to be replaced by Carli Lloyd. It took the Americans just five minutes to put their second goal on the board. Heath was able to cut her way from the top of the 18-yard box and collect the ball at the end line, she faced up the keeper and a defender and hit the ball past both players. It took 4 minutes from the time the goal was scored to restart play because VAR was checking whether Lloyd had interfered with the play from an offside position, but the goal was eventually allowed. The goal was also later changed into an own goal against Sweden thanks to a deflection.
The rest of the half calmed down considerably. Lloyd had an opportunity to score but she hit it right at the keeper, and Sweden had a few dangerous opportunities in the box, but the scoreline wouldn't be changed.
With the 2-0, the United States wins the group and sets the record for most goals and biggest goal differential in the group stage at a Women's World Cup. The United States will play their first match of the knockout round against Spain in Reims on June 24th. Sweden will advance as the second team in the group, and they will face off against Canada in Paris on June 24th as well.