MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Frequent rivals Sweden and america will meet as soon as once more on the Girls’s World Cup, however this time the stakes are tremendously larger.
The 2-time defending champion People are struggling heading into the spherical of 16 match on Sunday in opposition to the Swedes, who they’ve performed usually in each the World Cup and the Olympics.
“We all the time discover a option to play them in these large tournaments, so we all know they’re an excellent group. Each time that we play them it’s a large battle,” U.S. captain Lindsey Horan stated forward of the match in Melbourne, Australia.
The USA is vying for an unprecedented third consecutive World Cup title, however skirted into the knockout spherical with just one win in group play. The People had been practically eradicated by Portugal on Tuesday — a stoppage time blast from Ana Capeta hit the publish to protect a 0-0 draw that pushed the People by means of.
The USA seems nothing just like the group that gained the 2015 and 2019 titles. That American group pounced early on its opponents gained all of its seven matches in 2019.
This yr, the People have simply 4 targets and coach Vlatko Andonovski is built-in 14 newcomers making their World Cup debuts.
Sweden has gained all of its group matches at this World Cup and has outscored opponents 9-1. The group capped the opening stage with a 2-0 victory over Argentina on Wednesday.
“It’s the Spherical of 16, they’re going to be a great facet and it’s going to be a tricky battle,” U.S. ahead Lynn Williams stated. “However (we’re) simply primarily specializing in what we are able to do and what makes us particular, and hopefully go on the market and win this sport.”
The USA has performed Sweden six instances within the group stage on the World Cup, most lately in 2019 when the People gained 2-0. The USA went on to win its document fourth general title within the match.
General, america has gained 4 of these matches in opposition to Sweden, misplaced one and performed to a scoreless attract 2015.
However, the Swedes have held the benefit on the Olympics lately. The USA didn’t medal on the Brazil Olympics in 2016 after being ousted by Sweden within the quarterfinals.
They performed to a 1-1 draw earlier than Sweden superior on penalties, marking the earliest U.S. exit from an Olympics. Afterward, U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo induced controversy by calling the Swedes “cowards” for bunkering in on protection.
Sweden additionally beat the People 3-0 within the group opener on the Tokyo Olympic s. The loss snapped a 44-match U.S. unbeaten streak that had dated again to January, 2019.
The Swedes knew they’d face america earlier than their group ultimate in opposition to Argentina, so that they had been capable of relaxation their starters and used 9 lineup adjustments within the group finale.
However, Sweden has one much less day of preparation than the People going into the Sunday match.
“If you’ll go all the best way, you’ll must play this sort of opposition ultimately. And the U.S. are ranked No. 1. It could be higher to play them Sunday as an alternative of a semis or a ultimate,” Sweden coach Peter Gerhardsson stated.
“There’s not something we are able to do about it,” he continued. “We’re enjoying them on Sunday and we’ll do the whole lot that we’re capable of mobilize, each in vitality and above all, braveness, which is one thing you need to do in opposition to groups of that high quality.”
The USA will probably be with out midfielder Rose Lavelle for the match as a result of she picked up a pair of yellow playing cards in group play. That’s going to harm the People as a result of Lavelle has been certainly one of their few vitality sparks.
She got here off the bench within the second half of a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands and despatched a nook kick to Horan for the tying objective.
The People are attempting to be upbeat about the place they stand: on the ropes dealing with a robust Swedish opponent.
“We don’t need to be disillusioned in ourselves, we nonetheless made it to the spherical of 16. Clearly we need to play higher, we need to carry out higher, we need to entertain our U.S. followers extra,” Horan stated. “However the expectations are all the time going to be there for this nationwide group, they usually’re all the time going to be nice.
“We’re all the time going to be within the stress cooker and we love that. So, we simply want to lift our requirements, which we all the time do, and we transfer ahead and we exit and we do the whole lot in our energy to arrange ourselves for this subsequent sport.”