Photo Credit: Maja Hitij – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
There was nothing to separate the USA and Netherlands as they met in Wellington in a repeat of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ Final on Thursday afternoon.
Having both won their opening Group E matches, the sides knew that a win here would all but secure their place in the Round of 16 with a game remaining.
Netherlands took the lead after 17 minutes through midfielder Jill Roord, who arrowed a low effort into the far corner having been set up by teammate Victoria Pelova.
Despite registering a far greater number of efforts at goal, the defending champions struggled to consistently test Dutch ‘keeper Daphne Van Domselaar, waiting until the 62nd minute to draw level.
Lindsey Horan, a scorer in her sides’ opening victory over Vietnam, met Rose Lavelle’s corner with a firm header to beat Van Domselaar and level the scores.
Both sides now know that wins in their final group stage matches will guarantee a knockout stage appearance, with Portugal and Vietnam to meet in the group’s other fixture later this evening.
USA: 1 (Lindsey HORAN 62′)
Netherlands: 1 (Jill ROORD 17′)
Portugal registered their first goals and win of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ with an impressive victory over Vietnam in Hamilton.
Having suffered defeat in their opening Group E match to the Netherlands, the Portuguese knew they needed a win at Waikato Stadium to maintain any chance of qualifying for the next stage.
Telma Encarnacao gave them the perfect start, finishing smartly on the half-volley from six yards out after an excellent cross from Lucia Alves.
The second arrived shortly after when Encarnacao turned provider to play Kika Nazareth in on goal, who showed great composure to roll the ball past Vietnam goalkeeper Thi Kim Thanh Tran.
Vietnam become the latest nation to depart at the group stage, whilst Portugal face a crunch final Group E encounter with defending champions USA in Auckland next week.
Portugal: 2 (Telma ENCARNACAO 7′, Kika NAZARETH 21′)
Australia have it all to do in their final Group B match after suffering a surprise 3-2 defeat to Nigeria at Brisbane Stadium.
The Matildas took the lead late in the first half through Emily Van Egmond but were almost immediately pegged back with seconds remaining of the first 45 through Nigeria’s Uchenna Kanu.
Pushing for a winner that would have confirmed their place in the Round of 16, the co-hosts were hit with a double sucker-punch, as first Osinachi Ohale and then Asisat Oshoala scored within seven minutes of each other to give the Super Falcons a 3-1 lead.
Alanna Kennedy did pull one back in the tenth minute of stoppage time but it proved to be just a consolation goal as Nigeria held on to give themselves a great chance of advancing to the knockout phase.
As for Australia, they will likely require a victory in their final group stage match against Canada next week in order to keep their campaign alive.
Australia: 2 (Emily VAN EGMOND 45+1′, Alanna KENNEDY 90+10′)
Nigeria: 3 (Uchenna KANU 45+6′, Osinachi OHALE 65′, Asisat OSHOALA 72′)