June 17, 2024
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USA v Portugal: Women’s World Cup 2023 Group E – live | Women’s World Cup 2023

Key events

39 min Lavelle is booked for a lunge at Dolores Silva. That’s bad news for the USA: Lavelle will be suspended for their last-16 game. If there is one.

38 min That spell of US pressure has passed. They really are struggling here.

35 min Nazareth plays another dangerous through ball towards Jessica Silva. This time Girma reads it well and sweeps up. Nazareth is a lovely footballer.

Kika Nazareth
Kika Nazareth

33 min As things stand, the USA’s probable route to the semi-finals would be Sweden in the last 16, then Japan or Norway in the quarter-finals.

31 min For the first time in the game, the USA are starting to build some pressure. This is fascinating stuff – all logic suggests they will be okay, but as things stand we’re only one goal away from possibly the biggest shock in Women’s World Cup history.

28 min In real time it looked like Morgan ran the ball out of play but replays suggest it was extremely tight.

27 min: Great chance for Williams! Morgan gets round the back of on the left and moves into the area. She’s surrounded by defenders and seems to run the ball over the goalline but play continues. Her cutback takes a deflection and is blocked by Pereira, who then makes a brilliant follow-up save from Williams. The ball bounces back to Williams, who lifts it over from five yards. She should have scored, though whether it would have counted we don’t know.

25 min The goalkeeper Pereira is down after being clattered by Morgan. She’s fine.

Ines Pereira
Ines Pereira goes down clutching her shoulder after a hefty challenge from Morgan. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

23 min It’s now 4-0 in Dunedin. Breaking news: the USA aren’t going to win Group E.

22 min Sullivan’s corner is punched away well under pressure by Pereira.

22 min Smith turns Borges neatly on the left, eventually forcing Pinto to concede a corner…

20 min The US are struggling here. Portugal have probably been the better team in the first 20 minutes; they have certainly been the tidier team in possession.

18 min The Netherlands are already 3-0 up against Vietnam. Esmee Brugts has just scored a spectacular goal.

15 min: Chance for Portugal! This isn’t going to plan for the USA. The centre-back Diana Gomes fires an excellent pass into Nazareth in the centre circle. She plays an even better ball to put Jessica Silva through on goal in the inside-right channel, but she shoots tamely wide from the edge of the area. That was the best chance so far.

Jessica Silva
Jessica Silva leaves the USA defence leaden-footed but fires a huge chance just wide. Photograph: Andrew Cornaga/AP

14 min Smith drives a very deep, angled cross towards Williams. She strains her neck muscles to head back across goal towards Morgan, but Pereira is quickly off her line to claim.

12 min Make that two early goals in Dunedin. As things stand, the USA will go through as runners-up in Group E.

11 min Nazareth plays a give-and-go with Pinto on the edge of the area, forcing Sullivan (I think) to make an important tackle.

10 min There’s been an early goal in Dunedin. You will believe the score!

9 min Portugal have made a pretty composed start, in and out of possession. Pinto, on the right, slides a nice ball back towards Norton on the edge of the area. She runs onto the ball with purpose but spanks a first-time drive over the bar.

6 min Horan’s cross from the left is blootered wide on the volley by Morgan. She did well to get across Costa at the near post, but it was a very difficult angle from which to score.

4 min Lavelle’s inswinging corner is headed on by Williams and claimed by Pereira.

3 min: Chance for the US Williams finds space on the right and slides a low cross towards the near post. Morgan gets in front of Diana Gomes and stabs a shot that deflects off the stretching Gomes and behind for a corner.

Alex Morgan has early effort for the holders.
Alex Morgan has early effort for the holders. Photograph: Robin Alam/USSF/Getty Images

2 min Portugal have started with a back four and a midfield diamond. Something like this.

Portugal (4-D-2) Pereira; Borges, D Gomes, C Costa, Amado; Dolores Silva; T Pinto, Norton; Nazareth; J Silva, Diana Silva.

1 min Peep peep! The US get the game under way.

The anthems As in previous games, some of the USA players didn’t sing. There’s a calm, rational, two-eyed discussion of the subject on Twitter right now.

Here come the players. These players, to be precise.

Portugal (possible 5-2-1-2) Pereira; T Pinto, Borges, C Costa, D Gomes, Amado; Dolores Silva, Norton; Nazareth; J Silva, Diana Silva.
Substitutes: Morais, R Costa, Alves, Rebelo, Marchao, Jacinto, Rute, F Pinto, Seica, Mendes, Capeta, Encarnacao.

USA (possible 4-1-2-3) Naeher; Fox, Ertz, Girma, Dunn; Sullivan; Lavelle, Horan; Williams, Morgan, Smith.
Substitutes: DeMelo, Rodman, Sanchez, Huerta, O’Hara, Thompson, Cook, Sonnett, Rapinoe, Murphy, Kingsbury, Mewis.

Referee Rebecca Welch (England).

If Portugal are to cause an almighty shock, chances are the brilliant Kika Nazareth will have something to do with it.

Kika Nazareth
Kika Nazareth

Vietnam v Netherlands will take place simultaneously in Dunedin. You can follow that game with Sarah Rendell.

Portugal team news: six changes from Vietnam victory

Francisco Neto has changed more than half the team that beat Vietnam 2-0 on Thursday.

In Ines Pereira, Diana Gomes, Catarina Amado, Andreia Norton, Dolores Silva, Diana Silva.

Out Patricia Morais, Ana Seica, Lucia Alves, Andreia Jacinto, Joana Marchao, Telma Encarnacao.

Portugal (possible 5-2-1-2) Pereira; T Pinto, Borges, C Costa, D Gomes, Amado; Dolores Silva, Norton; Nazareth; J Silva, Diana Silva.
Substitutes: Morais, R Costa, Alves, Rebelo, Marchao, Jacinto, Rute, F Pinto, Seica, Mendes, Capeta, Encarnacao.

Jessica Silva
Jessica Silva

USA team news: Lavelle and Williams start

The US make two changes from the draw with the Netherlands. Lynn Williams and Rose Lavelle replace Savannah DeMelo and Trinity Rodman. It’s Lavelle’s first start of this World Cup; she has been eased into the tournament by Vlatko Andonovski as she recovers from a knee injury.

We’ll have the Portugal team news shortly.

USA (possible 4-1-2-3) Naeher; Fox, Ertz, Girma, Dunn; Sullivan; Lavelle, Horan; Williams, Morgan, Smith.
Substitutes: DeMelo, Rodman, Sanchez, Huerta, O’Hara, Thompson, Cook, Sonnett, Rapinoe, Murphy, Kingsbury, Mewis.

Rose Lavelle
Rose Lavelle

Preamble

Hello and welcome … to live, minute-by-minute(ish) coverage of Portugal v USA in Auckland. Life is binary these days, and there are broadly two ways today’s match can go. Either the USA will proceed to the last 16 as expected, or Portugal will cause one of the greatest earthquakes in the history of the women’s football.

Assuming the Netherlands beat Vietnam in the other Group E game, this is a straight shootout for a last 16 place: Portugal need a win, the USA will go through with a draw.

The USA have never failed to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup, never mind the last 16. They’re chasing a third consecutive World Cup win and a fifth overall. A defeat today would be entirely without precedent.

Realistically they should have too much for Portugal; they’ve won all ten meetings between the sides, scoring 39 and conceding none. If so, the USA will then become involved in a shootout with the Netherlands to decide who wins Group E. It won’t be confirmed until tomorrow, but the likelihood is that the runners-up will meet Sweden in the last 16, with the winners facing either Italy or South Africa.

The group winners could also face Spain in a mouthwatering quarter-final. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves now. Before we can talk about tomorrow, there is rather important business to attend to.

Kick off 7pm in Auckland, 3am EST, 8am BST.

Rob will be here shortly, in the meantime here’s Jeff Kassouf with a preview of today’s match:

Four years ago, the United States steamrolled their way through the Women’s World Cup, scoring in the opening 12 minutes of their first six games on their march to a second straight title.

Their start to the 2023 World Cup has been less dominant. A 3-0 victory over Vietnam in their opener was satisfactory for a brand-new starting 11, even if they were wasteful in front of goal. Then came a horrendous first-half against the Netherlands. USA captain Lindsey Horan eventually salvaged a point for her team against the Dutch, but the mood was one of disappointment not only at the result, but also the performance.

Now the Americans are in unfamiliar territory: they must pick up at least a point against Portugal on Tuesday in Auckland to secure passage to the knockout round. They are heavy favorites to win the game, but their performances thus far have only raised further questions of a team that has not looked this unsure of itself in a long time.

“I think being on the US women’s national team kind of always feels like this,” said Megan Rapinoe, who is playing in her fourth and final World Cup. “When was the last time anybody wrote a headline that was like: ‘They played the best game and that’s exactly what we were expecting them to’? No. When you’re at the top, you’re always looking to get better.”

You can read the full article below:

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