Published: Sun, June 23, 2019
Sports | By Brett Lawson

USA, Cameroon advance into last 16

USA, Cameroon advance into last 16

She scored all four of the Matildas' goals in the group-stage finale against Jamaica - becoming the first non-American to reach that total in a World Cup game - and seems to be hitting her considerable stride at exactly the right point. Lloyd, who played every minute of the 2015 World Cup and scored three goals in a 5-2 victory over Japan in the title match, came in off the bench to start the second half.

Jill Ellis' squad earned its third victory in the tournament against Sweden, a team they had a pending issue with after the Europeans knocked them out in the quarter-finals of the 2016 Rio Olympics. All four teams play each other, then the top two teams from each group, plus the top four teams from all of the groups, enter into the knockout stage. Ertz said she expects to be ready for the Spain game, while Ellis said Morgan's removal was merely precautionary. Veteran Canada forward Christine Sinclair scored her 182nd goal for her country on the hour mark following Anouk Dekker's 54th-minute opener, leaving her just two shy of Abby Wambach's worldwide record for the United States, but it wasn't enough to beat their opponents to first place.

They're also going to need to keep improving. The No. 1-ranked United States is the defending Women's World Cup champion.

Coach Peter Gerhardsson said he selected his starters with an eye toward the next game.

She added: "If there is a decision to rest players, I don't think that's not caring about the game; it's already thinking ahead".

"I think after the game that might be a fair comment", cracked US coach Jill Ellis when she heard about it. "When we looked at the game plan, we didn't think in advance that it was important to end up first or second".

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The United States got off to their best start of the tournament when Lindsey Horan was able to slip one past Swedish goalkeeper in the third minute. In the second half, the USA 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.

Carli Lloyd came on for Alex Morgan at half time, as Morgan was a little shaken up after being fouled in the first half. She still has to defend on occasion, though, and she won a few one-on-one battles on Thursday that had the American Outlaws chanting her name in the stands.

The US and Sweden are familiar foes. "We absolutely learned a lot from that game".

Tobin Heath influenced the second goal on a play that required video replay and a scoring change. Team USA will have a much tougher time scoring goals on Sweden and Lindahl.

"We're building on each performance", defender Becky Sauerbrunn said. The goal was reviewed by VAR after it appeared Lloyd was offside. Heath took possession and worked defender Jonna Andersson with a series of foot fakes before driving an angled bid.

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