It’s the final day of group play in the Women’s World Cup, and four matches will determine the final teams in the round of 16. On Thursday, Groups E and F conclude their play, with the marquee matchup being the United States v. Sweden.
At 9 AM, Cameroon face off against New Zealand. If either team gets a win, they’ll have a strong shot at making it to the next round. A draw won’t do anything for them. Canada and Netherlands also compete in the morning. Both teams head into the match with 6 points, making this a battle for the top of the group.
At noon, Chile and Thailand face off. Chile needs to win by at least 5 goals to give them a chance at advancing.
At that same time, Reign FC’s Megan Rapinoe and Allie Long hope to lead the U.S. to a win over Sweden, who also easily got by Thailand and Chile — although not with quite as many goals as the Americans. This will be the first real test for the U.S., and while their offense has shown well so far, Sweden will give the U.S. defense more to do.
Lots of people have reminded you that Sweden defeated the U.S in the 2016 Olympics. Commentators won’t let you forget it today. The U.S. could help put that far out of our conscious memories with a statement win today.
What to Watch
- Can the U.S. midfield dominate? Sure, they looked smooth in their first two matches — but this World Cup run might depend on a midfield that stays organized, protects the defense and pushes the offense. Can the U.S. do that against Sweden?
- Who is the creator? The U.S. have plenty of people on the squad who can create chances — Pinoe, Tobin Heath, Sam Mewis, Rose Lavelle, and the outside backs. Who will step up?
- Speaking of outside backs... Jill Ellis has converted Crystal Dunn and Tierna Davidson to left backs and has rotated Kelley O’Hara and Emily Sonnett at right back. Against stiffer competition, the U.S. have been exposed here. Can the starting outside backs keep Sweden at bay?
3’ - Dream start for the U.S. Lindsey Horan gets her second goal of the tournament.
50’ - USA goes up 2-0!
How to Watch
Cameroon v. New Zealand
Netherlands v. Canada
Thailand v. Chile
Sweden v. USA
This is your USWNT v. Sweden World Cup gamethread. Watch with us (and feel free to discuss any of today’s matches here).