With a win over Spain, the USA advances to the next round of the World Cup where they will square off with France. The USA-France game will take place on Friday, June 28 at 3 p.m. Eastern on Fox.
The U.S. is expected to be a slight favorite in the matchup based on the current future World Cup championship odds. The U.S. is listed as the favorite to win the World Cup with +160 odds, while France is second at +380, per FanDuel.
These have long been the two favorites to win the World Cup, and soccer fans have been anticipating this matchup since the bracket was released. There was some talk that the United States would try to finish in second place in their group to avoid a potential quarterfinal matchup against France.
Rather than securing a spot on the easier side of the bracket, the U.S. won Group F despite a likely future matchup with France. The winner will advance to the semifinal round as one of the remaining four teams.
As expected, the USA faced its most difficult test to date against Spain. The U.S. did not come out of the most difficult group as the USWNT cruised to wins over Thailand and Chile to start out the tournament. The last two U.S. matches have been much more challenging against Sweden and Spain, which could prove to be good preparation for France.
Neither the USA or France’s victories in the knockout stage were convincing results. However, the two favorites did enough to advance to the next round.
The USA Needed 2 Penalty Kicks From Megan Rapinoe to Advance to the Quarterfinals
The USA found itself in a physical match with Spain and spent the majority of the game tied. Heading into the tournament, the one concern for the U.S. was how their defensive backline would respond when tested. An early equalizer from Spain put the U.S. in its first pressure situation they had seen in the 2019 World Cup.
Team USA needed two penalty kicks from Megan Rapinoe to advance to the next round to play France. While there is plenty for the USWNT to clean up before Friday, the U.S. did what they needed to do to punch their ticket to next round. The U.S. and France are now among the final eight teams remaining in the World Cup. Heading into the knockout round, the U.S. appeared as confident as ever.
“I think this is the best team we’ve had,” Ali Krieger told the New York Daily News. “We’re so confident right now. We’re so motivated to want to win and succeed.”
The winner of the USA-France matchup will take on the England-Norway winner in the semifinals on July 2. Prior to the USA-Spain match, U.S. manager emphasized the player’s recovery as a key to their future success.
“After the huddle, I just said to them, ‘The MVP right now is going to be your recovery and your hydration and your attention to detail,’ in terms of making sure they do that,” Ellis told Sporting News. “I think our players are fantastic with that, in terms of knowing that the next game starts as soon as that game is over.”