In a highly anticipated rematch of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup final, the United States and the Netherlands battled to a thrilling 1-1 draw at Wellington Regional Stadium on Wednesday. This result has set the stage for a dramatic last day of play in Group E, with both teams vying for the top spot. Meanwhile, Nigeria also added some excitement to the mix with an intense match against co-hosts Australia.
Here’s a rundown of the highlights from Day 8 of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and a sneak peek at what’s in store for Day 9:
- The Netherlands’ Jill Roord opened the scoring in the 17th minute of the match against the United States. Interestingly, the Netherlands remains unbeaten in all matches where Roord has found the back of the net, boasting an impressive record of 14 wins, 2 draws, and 0 losses.
- In response to the early setback, Lindsey Horan of the USA scored a crucial goal in the 62nd minute. Horan has been consistently impactful, contributing to five goals (either scoring or assisting) in the six games she’s started in the Women’s World Cup.
- Horan’s goal came shortly after she was subjected to a hard tackle by Netherlands midfielder and her Lyon teammate, Danielle van de Donk. The situation could have escalated and led to Horan being sent off, but her fellow teammate Julie Ertz acted as a voice of reason on the field. Horan revealed, “She was like, ‘Please don’t get another yellow card. Just score this goal to shut everyone up.’ And that’s what happened.”
- While the USWNT would have preferred a resounding victory, they recognize the value of having to fight back and secure a point. Ertz emphasized the importance of such moments of adversity in bringing the team together and building momentum for the tournament ahead.
- With four points from two games, the USWNT finds themselves in a favorable position to advance to the round of 16. However, their ticket to the knockout stage is not secured yet. The team will need to perform at their best in the next match to solidify their place in the next phase of the competition.
As the group stage comes to a close, anticipation is building for the final matches of Group E. The battle for the top spot intensifies as teams fight for their place in the knockout stage of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.