USWNT vs. Sweden score: USA wins Group F with gritty win, will face Spain in Women's World Cup round of 16
The United States women's national team picked up a 2-0 win over Sweden on Thursday
The United States women's national team defeated Sweden, 2-0, on Thursday to stay perfect at the 2019 World Cup and win Group F. Despite injuries before the game to Julie Ertz, the U.S. got goals from Lindsey Horan and an own goal from Jonna Anderson to seal the win. Horan scored just three minutes in with a finish from close, while Tobin Heath technically put away the second in the 50th minute, though it was ruled an own goal due to a deflection by the Swedish defender. Sweden only threatened a couple of times in what was a pretty dominant showing for the U.S., despite the lack of goals. The U.S. set a record for most goals in the group stage of a Women's World Cup with 18.
Alex Morgan was subbed off the game at halftime after she was seen limping during the late stages of the first half. It remains to be seen if she picked up a significant injury.
Here are three takeaways from the match:
1. USA was fueled by a red-hot start
It was all USA from start to finish. The players were lively, precise with their passing and never stopped attacking. It was a game in which the U.S. dominated, and the early goal really set the tone. It came off a corner kick as the ball found its way in front of the goal, with Horan tapping it in:
Despite feeling like the U.S. would get another in the first half, it wasn't meant to be despite a couple good looks. Sweden came close a time or two but never felt like much of a threat to the Americans. In the second half, the U.S. doubled down thanks to Heath, who played deflection really well down the right wing to cut in and fire a shot into the back of the net. The ball hit her defender before going in. The initial cross from Megan Rapinoe to Carli Lloyd that was deflected by a Swedish defender before it found Heath was reviewed, as Lloyd was offside. The official determined that Lloyd didn't directly impact the play, and the goal stood. Take a look:
That's all there was. The game had the feeling of a 3-0, 4-0 win at the beginning because how much the U.S. was attacking, but Sweden prioritized defense and was able to keep it respectable.
2. The defense was tested a bit more than usual
After the first two matches against Thailand and Chile felt like walk in the parks, this felt a bit more like a challenge for the Americans. For the most part, the U.S. did well, especially in the middle of the field to work together and close down. Where the U.S. had some trouble was down on the right flank. Crystal Dunn is such a baller and did pretty well, but there were times where the U.S. defended much too narrow, with Dunn tucked inside and her hips turned inside. A ball would go past her down the right, and with the time it took for her to turn and go, the Swedish attack was already behind her. Sweden didn't really do any damage there, but it was evident that they would continue to find space. Just something for them to work on defensively ahead of the round of 16.
3. Injuries could play a big role moving forward
Ertz picked up a hip injury before the game but was available as a substitute, and Morgan looked uncomfortable in the first half and was taken off at the break. You can argue that those are the two most important players on the national team, so all eyes will be on their status moving forward. Ertz's issue seems more precautionary, but it's unclear as to what Morgan's status is moving forward.
Without either, the U.S. should still have more than enough to advance to the quarterfinals, but we'll have to wait and see what the their status is. The U.S. will now take on Spain on Monday in the round of 16 at 11 a.m. ET, and you can see it on fuboTV (Try for free).
Relive USA vs. Sweden
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