The USA would be eliminated from the World Cup if they lose against Spain. Unlike the group stage, a team cannot lose and remain in the tournament. The U.S. advanced to the knockout stage where they were among the final 16 teams in the World Cup. The tournament now turns into a single-elimination tournament where only a win can send you through to the next round.
During the group stage, each team plays three matches and the top two teams advance based on the number of points. A team is awarded three points for a victory, one point for a tie and zero points for a loss.
Once the knockout stage begins, there are no ties as the game will head into extra time if both teams have the same score. The World Cup overtime period consists of two 15-minute halves and the match would end in penalty kicks if the score is tied after extra time as FIFA details.
In the knockout stages, if a match is level at the end of normal playing time, extra time shall be played. Extra time shall consist of two 15-minute periods, with an interval of five minutes at the end of normal playing time, but not between the two periods of extra time. The players shall remain on the pitch during both of these intervals.
If the score is still level at the end of extra time, kicks from the penalty mark shall be taken to determine the winner, in accordance with the procedure specified in the Laws of the Game.
If the USA Defeats Spain, They Will Play France in the World Cup Quarterfinals
Since the World Cup started, soccer fans have been eying a potential matchup between the U.S. and France. Despite some suggesting the U.S. should try to finish second in Group F to avoid France, the U.S. comfortably defeated Sweden to put themselves on the side of the bracket that is perceived to be more difficult.
This means that a win against Spain would put the U.S. in a matchup against France in the World Cup quarterfinals. U.S. manager Jill Ellis consistently emphasizes that the team is focused on their own performance and not their opponent. This is why there was little consideration given to the U.S. not playing their best against Sweden to avoid France.
“I struggle to tell my team not to tackle each other in training the day before,” Ellis noted to Sports Illustrated. “So yeah, I think at this point it’s making sure your focus is on yourself and your performance is about yourself and you put yourself in the best position to advance in this tournament. For us, it’s making sure that we play as well as we possibly can in every game.”
A win sends the U.S. through to the next round, while a loss would eliminate the USWNT from the World Cup. Team USA is attempting to win back-to-back World Cup titles.