Tokyo Olympics: USWNT draw Australia, advance to quarterfinals despite only winning once in Group G

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The United States women's national team and Australia played to a 0-0 draw to close out group play at Kashima Soccer Stadium in Japan on matchday three. The result secures a second place group finish for the USWNT, and they advance into the Olympic knockout rounds.

Team USA struggled to get their attack going early on in the first half as Australia presented the team with a high press to start the first half. The Matildas put USA under some pressure early, earning set pieces and rattling the crossbar. The USWNT were unable to breakthrough on goal, with the only real opportunities in the form of a couple long balls over Australia's back line, and a disallowed corner kick goal from Alex Morgan that was further confirmed by VAR.

It was a conservative performance from Team USA to close out the first half, losing the possession battle 37% to 63% and losing the duels battle 40% to 60%.

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Second half snoozer

USA head coach Vlatko Andonovski opted to hold off on immediate substitutions to start the second half, despite limited speed and lack of threat in the attack. Surging pressure in the middle from Julie Ertz gave the team some different tempo to begin the second half, but never truly generated anything significant. 

A bright spot for the team was their defensive performance as the backline kept Sam Kerr unproblematic in the final third. As the match ticked past the hour mark Andonovski began his substitutions, bringing on Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan on for Sam Mewis and Megan Rapinoe.

As the match went on, and there were less lethal looks on goal, Carli Lloyd and Lynn Williams were subbed on for Alex Morgan and Christen Press, though their addition in the final fifteen minutes didn't bring any late game thrillers. Both teams ultimately appeared to be content to play out the half, as a draw ultimately meant USA advanced and an extra point put the Matildas in a better position to qualify for knockout rounds.

Look ahead

The United States advance, but questions remain around confident play as the quarterfinals approach. Team USA will face either Netherlands or Brazil in the next round.

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