Women’s World Cup: US meets and defeats familiar foes with 2-0 victory against Sweden


In this World Cup, each time the U.S. women have taken the field, they have set a new record.

Thursday night was no different, as the Americans defeated Sweden 2-0 and set a record for the most goals scored by one team – 18 – during the group phase of a World Cup.

The U.S. women had to wait three years to avenge their last loss to Sweden, which occurred during the 2016 Olympics. Once this match started, they went right to work, with Lindsey Horan scoring in the 3rd minute, for the fastest goal scored in this Women’s World Cup.

U.S. forward Megan Rapinoe sent a low corner kick towards the box, where Samantha Mewis ran onto it at the near-post and back-heeled it deeper into the penalty area. Horan was making a run towards the goal and poked the ball into the back of the net.

Despite some quality chances by both teams, the score remained 1-0 until Tobin Heath faked-out Swedish defender Jonna Andersson and drove a beautiful shot into the goal in the 50th minute to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead. FIFA later ruled the goal was an own goal because it deflected off of Andersson.

The U.S. had to do without Julie Ertz, who suffered a hip contusion in the match against Chile. U.S. coach Jill Ellis said that sitting Ertz out for this match was a precautionary measure. U.S. forward Alex Morgan was replaced by Carli Lloyd at the start of the second half, after Morgan went down hard during the first half of the match.

Although the U.S. clearly dominated the game, with 63% of the possession and 16 shots, only four of the shots were on target. Lloyd, who has scored in six consecutive Women’s World Cup games, was unable to finish a great opportunity in the 90th minute, shooting right at Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl, thus ending her scoring streak.

Defensively, the Americans were finally tested a bit, with Swedish midfielders Kosovare Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson combining to give the Swedes a few chances. U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher did well in the goal, saving both of Asllani’s shots.

The U.S. has come out of the group stage with all nine points and with shut-outs in each game. That’s a first for the U.S. Women’s Soccer team – another record.

Speaking afterwards, coach Jill Ellis was delighted with the form of her team:

“When you come out of the group stage a lot of what you talk about is mentality and being healthy, and I think we’re in a really good place.

We’ve got some things to work on. Just to make sure that we are sharper and better in the next game.”


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Women's World Cup

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