KENYA BROWN - Friday, June 21, 2019
The US Women's National Team got the job done on Thursday as they bagged a shutout win over Sweden at Stade Oceane in Le Havre to win Group F.
The task was simple for the Americans - win or tie and they would finish top of their group to avoid playing possibly a tougher game in the Round of 16. However, nothing is a given, and they were playing a Swedish that has always given them a tough time.
Head coach Jill Ellis reinserted several players from the Thailand game back into the starting lineup, including the attacking trio of Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Tobin Heath.
And the Americans would strike just three minutes into the contest as Rapinoe's low-swinging corner kick skipped past several players in the six-yard box to find Lindsey Horan, who made a late run into the area to tap the ball in.
Sweden, as expected, pushed the US and tried to catch them off guard on the counter-attack, but the first half would end 1-0 in favor of the US as neither side could score further goals.
The Swedes dug themselves into a bigger hole in the second half when Rapinoe's cross from the left side ended up at the feet of Heath on the right. The midfielder was set to cross the ball into the area, but it took a deflection off the leg of Swedish defender Joanna Andersson and ended up in the back of the net.
There was a dispute as to whether Carli Lloyd, who came on for Alex Morgan, was in an offside position, but the video assistant referee showed that the goal was good in the end.
It was a successful end for the US in the end with a few positives, most notably the fact that they did not allow a single goal in group play.
The US head into the Round of 16, where they will face Spain on June 24 at the Stade Auguste-Delaune.