US Came an Inch From Enormous World Cup Upset

Portugal hit the post, and 0-0 draw is good enough for USA to advance
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 1, 2023 5:38 AM CDT
US Came an Inch From Enormous World Cup Upset
United States' Sophia Smith, left, is replaced by Megan Rapinoe during the second half of the game against Portugal.   (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Portugal's late near-miss helped reigning champion United States avoid the biggest upset in Women's World Cup tournament history on Tuesday. The Americans slipped through to the knockout round Tuesday despite a listless, uninspiring 0-0 draw against Portugal, per the AP. The US won only one game in group play for the first time in tournament history, and scored just four goals over three games. In a hold-your-breath moment, the Americans came an inch away from elimination when Ana Capeta nearly scored in stoppage for Portugal. Her shot hit the left post and the Americans preserved the draw. (Watch it here.) The tie was just enough to ensure the Americans advanced to the knockout round.

"It's not the result we wanted, but we move forward," forward Alex Morgan said. The Americans, the most successful team ever at the World Cup with four titles, have never been eliminated in the group stage at the World Cup. The frustration of the US fans at Eden Park was evident at the break, when there were scattered boos among the crowd as the teams headed for the tunnel. The path for the Americans also hinged on the results of the Netherlands match against Vietnam, played simultaneously. With a decisive 7-0 victory, the Netherlands bumped the United States from the top of Group E. The Americans move on as the second seed and will play the winner of Group G on Sunday.

(More US women's soccer stories.)

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