Published: Tue, June 25, 2019
Sports | By Brett Lawson

United States beat Sweden to top group

United States beat Sweden to top group

Her calmness in front of goal meant that U.S. were able to make the most of their two clear-cut chances in the match. "That's something we take pride in".

The United States and Spain exchanged goals in the first 10 minutes of the match.

The United States had breezed through group play of the Women's World Cup, accumulating a record haul of goals and conceding none.

The reigning title holders will face Group B runners-up Spain in the round of 16, and Group F runners-up Sweden will play Group E runners-up Canada. Sweden will play Canada in Paris. The U.S. will certainly feel quite sore after this one, Morgan especially, so they'll get their minds and bodies right and look to advance to yet another World Cup semifinal. The Swedes bunkered in on defense and advanced on penalties after a 1-1 draw, handing the United States its earliest-ever exit from the Olympic tournament.

United States coach Jill Ellis unveiled one surprise in her starting lineup, choosing Samantha Mewis over Lindsey Horan in midfield. "We talk about the idea of 360-degree defending where everyone is defending", said midfielder Tobin Heath.

La Roja had not scored in its previous two games but still finished second in its group to Germany to get the matchup with the Americans.

"At this point, it is what it is", Ellis told reporters.

The U.S. had never lost a World Cup game when it scored first. "Sweden is a good opponent to play in a group stage game, as it has been in tournaments past".

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The U.S. made the most of an easy group-Sweden is ranked ninth in the world, while Thailand and Chile are 34th and 39th, respectively-but much tougher challenges lay ahead.

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

"At the time I didn't know how important it is, but we knew every goal would count", she said, adding with a smile: "I actually wanted more after that, being my selfish self".

The United States, France, England, Germany and the Netherlands all won their first three games in France. They were quieted a short time later when Jennifer Hermoso tied it up for Spain with the first goal the Americans had allowed in France.

Eight of Sinclair's goals have come against Sweden. She assisted Alex Morgan for USA's first goal of the tournament and has kept 2 clean sheets in the process.

Their salvation came when Rose Lavelle fell in the box after slight contact with Virginia Torrecilla, prompting referee Katalin Kulcsar to award a penalty, which was confirmed by VAR review to Spain's understandable frustration. The shot was deflected by Swedish defender Jonna Andersson, who was credited with an own goal.

Lloyd was denied by Lindahl in the 90th minute, stopping her World Cup-record scoring streak at six games. "I think the strength that it takes to step back up and be courageous and let it go, and to continue to fight for your dreams and not let the outside noise affect what you're doing, I think I am very proud of that".

"I think what this game gave us and the takeaways from it - massive", Ellis said afterward.

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