Team USA will have an opportunity to win Group F in their next match against Sweden. Thanks to their win against Chile, the USWNT has already advanced to the next round even if they lose to Sweden on Thursday, June 20. The USA and Sweden are tied atop Group F with six points each.
The USWNT sits in first over Sweden thanks to a massive lead in the goal differential tiebreaker. The U.S. squad will still want to perform well against Sweden since a victory or a tie would win Group F. There is some talk that the U.S. may want to finish second to avoid playing France later in the tournament, but manager Jill Ellis shutdown this notion.
“I struggle to tell my team not to tackle in training the day before,” Ellis told Yahoo Sports. “I think at this point it’s making sure your focus is on yourself and your performance 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 and win the game.”
USA & Sweden Have Already Advanced to the Next Round
Sweden and the USA have already punched their ticket to the knockout stage, but the group winner has yet to be determined. Chile or Thailand could still advance with one of the third place spots depending on how the final matches play out.
If the U.S. wins Group F, they would play the Group B second place team on Monday, June 24 at 12 p.m. Eastern. The U.S. would play Germany, Spain or China if this plays out. The only scenario where USWNT could end up in second place is if they lose to Sweden.
If the U.S. finishes second place, they will also play on Monday, June 24 just a bit later at 3 p.m. Eastern. The U.S. would play the second place winner of Group E which would either be the Netherlands or Canada.
The USA Defeated Chile Comfortably Despite Resting a Number of Starters
The USWNT was able to win comfortably against Chile despite a number of key players not playing. Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe were among the players who not only did not start but were rested for the entire match. The U.S. wanted to get a look at some of their younger players and enter the match against Sweden well-rested.
“We want to make this a long tournament,” Ellis explained to Yahoo Sports. “To do that, we certainly know it’s going to take a lot of physical effort and output from every single one of those players.”
Here is a look at the Group F standings heading into each team’s final match of group play.
USWNT World Cup Standings: Group F