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The USWNT avoided what would have been a humiliating, nightmare scenario of not advancing to the Round of 16 in the Women’s World Cup on Tuesday, but the American dream of winning a third-straight World Cup is still alive after a scoreless draw against Portugal.
The tournament favorites were nearly sent home packing when the ball fell perfectly to a streaking Ana Capeta in the 91st minute, but the Portugal striker’s shot found the post. Former USWNT captain and Fox Soccer host Carli Lloyd said, “The player of the match was that post” following the 0-0 draw.
Portugal controlled possession throughout the contest, but didn’t manage to put one of its six shots on goal on Tuesday night. Despite a possession tick of just 44% during the game, the U.S. put six shots on goal, with an Alex Morgan strike in the 53rd minute being the team’s best scoring opportunity.
Other than the post saving the day for the USWNT, the biggest development from the match came in the 38th minute when midfielder Rose Lavelle picked up a yellow card, her second of the group stage, which means she will be forced to miss the team’s Round of 16 match.
After a win against Vietnam and a pair of draws against the Netherlands and Portugal, the USWNT finished second in Group E with the Dutch winning the group overall.
The USWNT will face the winner of Group G in the knockout stage, which will likely be Sweden, which could end up being the showdown of the tournament. The U.S. entered the Women’s World Cup as the top-ranked team in the world while Sweden is No. 3.
The USWNT’s knockout stage match will kick off at 5:00 AM ET on August 6 on FOX.