It’ll be a late night with the U.S. women’s soccer team
And that’s a wrap on tonight’s 1-1 draw between the United States and Netherlands.
U.S. television viewers have been lucky so far, with the Americans’ first two matches kicking off in the afternoon locally, leading to prime-time TV slots back home.
That won’t be the case for the Americans’ final match of Group E play which will be against Portugal at 3 a.m. EDT Tuesday from Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand.
East Coast residents could get up pre-drawn, and West Coast viewers can just stay up really late. Mountain and Center Time folks will have a tougher decision to make.
U.S. stepped up the pressure after halftime
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — While the United States was happy to pull back a point from the Netherlands, Alex Morgan thought it was “lucky” her team didn’t come way with all three.
“The second half in particular, our pressure was really good and I think that created a lot of good scoring chances,” Morgan said. “I feel like it was unlucky of us not to get a second one and get the win.”
The Americans ended up outshooting the Dutch, 17-4.
Really … they’re good, all is well between Lyon teammates
Hugging each other and smiling, Lyon teammates Lindsey Horan and Daniëlle van de Donk produced photographic evidence they’ve squashed any on-the-pitch beef.
The pair, co-workers in France for their 9-to-5 jobs, got into a heated exchange moments before Horan’s tying goal.
The Netherlands posted an after-match picture of them on its Twitter feed showing that they’re still pals.
No panic down in the dressing room, down 1-0 at half
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Even after the Netherlands stunned the United States by taking an early lead, Lindsey Horan said she and her teammates knew the chances to equalize were out there.
“I think a lot of the first half, we were fighting for the ball, we were running a lot, the momentum was going in our favor,” Horan said after the match.
She headed home the tying goal in the 62nd minute, off a corner kick from Rose Lavelle.
The sub factor
The U.S. made a game-changing substitution at halftime, bringing on crowd favorite (and arguably best player on either team) Rose Lavelle.
But the U.S. didn’t send on another sub all game.
Substitutions are one of the only real ways a coach can impact a game during the game. How a coach sets up the team, chooses their lineup, picks the gameplan/strategy all have a huge impact — before the game. But once the game starts, coaches have very little ability to impact proceedings — except via substitutions.
Most advanced analytics show that high-level coaches tend to use subs too infrequently, and when they do use them, they do it too late.
Sending in a fresh set of legs to run at a tired back line dramatically impacts a team’s ability to score a goal (or if you’re protecting a lead, to defend your goal).
But the U.S. didn’t use any of its remaining subs, despite some poor performances across the front line (notably from youngster Trinity Rodman).
It’ll be interesting to see if the U.S. coach actually avails himself of the depth and quality in his bench going forward … or if he goes the way of famed Premier League managers Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, and leave the subs until too late in the game to make the difference.
Horan fueled by fire before the equalizer
Lindsey Horan got into a heated, shoving, finger-pointing exchange with her Lyon teammate Daniëlle van de Donk before scoring the equalizer, on a header off a Rose Lavelle corner kick.
“Me and Dan always go up against each other, it’s a physical battle, I respect her so much,” Horan said after the match. “Heat of the moment and I got a little pissed at her, but Rose put in absolute dime and I got on the end of it.”
Moments after the final whistle, the Lyon teammates embraced on the field, so any hard feelings appear to have subsided.
Beyond the basics
The U.S. is always just better at the basics. The team wins first balls, second balls; works harder; wins duels.
Team USA re-seized control in a game it was completely outcoached and outplayed because those qualities win games.
But this is a warning sign for the next few weeks.
The Netherlands, U.S. looking for blowouts in final group match
Tonight’s 1-1 draw kept the United States on top of Group E, but only by a small margin.
The United States and Netherlands both have four points, with the Americans holding down the top spot based on a goal differential. The Americans are plus-3 and the Dutch plus-1.
However, in the final match of group play, the Netherlands has a better chance of registering a blowout victory over world No. 32 Vietnam while the Americans will take on No. 21 Portugal.
Match ends in a draw: U.S. 1 – 1 Netherlands
After struggling in the first half, the U.S. pulled even to end the match with a draw.
Who wants it more?
The Dutch look like they’re holding on for a draw. But the U.S. seems to going all in for the win.
Five minutes of added time
With the game tied 1-1, the third official indicated there will be at least 5 minutes of added time.
Ertz to the rescue for the Americans
Esmee Brugts appeared to have a golden opportunity to put the Netherlands ahead, but veteran American defender Julie Ertz came out of nowhere to make a sliding block in the 80th minute.
Not a full house
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — More than 27,000 fans are tonight’s match.
And although 27, 312 turned out, the stadium is not full.
A momentum shift?
The athletic and individual dominance of the U.S. is well known. The depth and intensity the team can bring on any given game almost necessitate a perfect game from their opponents.
The Dutch had it all clicking. Defended deep and compactly early, then took control of the midfield and possession for the final 30 of the first half. The U.S. looked disjointed and leggy.
But, it’s hard to see out a perfect game for the full 90. Could the Dutch stand toe to toe with the legendary U.S. for a full game?
The U.S. gets the equalizer on a beautifully executed set piece punctuated by a thumping header for the goal from Horan.
Team USA has reclaimed the momentum. Intensity has ratcheted up, and the U.S. looks to wrest control of this game away from the Dutch.
Maybe they can hash it out over a nice bottle a wine?
Moments before Lindsey Horan scored the equalizer, she was in a finger- pointing, animated beef with Daniëlle van de Donk.
They’ll have to patch up and differences after the tournament, as they’re teammates on the French club Lyon.
Offsides flag comes up after Alex Morgan called-off goal
Alex Morgan put the ball in the back of the net — but the goal was called off almost immediately because she was offsides.
The U.S. and Netherlands remain tied 1-1.
The U.S. scores the equalizer
The U.S. was able to score in 62nd minute — equalizing with the Dutch.
The goal came from a corner to Lindsey Horan, who moments before had been the subject of an on-field argument with the Dutch.
When Roord scores, Netherlands usually wins
It’s worth noting that the Netherlands has never lost a match in which Jill Roord has scored.
She has scored 22 goals for the Netherlands in 16 matches, including tonight.
Of the previous 15 games Roord has scored in, the Netherlands has won 14, drawn 1, lost 0.
Sun poking through
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The sun is poking through here in Wellington, and the wind is subsiding a bit.
It could be fleeting, but it’s certainly welcome in the stands.
Rose Lavelle shown first yellow card in the match
Rose Lavelle was shown the first yellow card of the match in the 51st minute.
Rose Lavelle subbed in for Savannah Demelo
The U.S. started the second half with a substitution — taking off Savannah Demelo and adding Rose Lavelle.
Fans were clamoring to see Lavelle come on the pitch, who has scored 24 goals in 89 appearances for the U.S. And Demelo had received a final warning from the ref just before the half, putting her at prime risk for a yellow card in the second half.
Dutch defenders keeping U.S. on its toes
The Netherlands playing with a back 3 in defense lets the Dutch set up across the whole field. Their defenders are switching play fast across the line to stretch the U.S. defensive press.
The Dutch are getting through centrally and wide because the U.S. has to work so hard from the front to keep up.
The Dutch moved from sitting deep and defending early to establishing control of the game, pinging the ball around as the U.S. left chasing shadows.
The U.S. also seems to be missing Ertz in the midfield. While doing an admirable job deputizing as a center back, the control she exhibits on the game has been sorely lacking in this match.
Team USA may still be getting to know one another
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Reminder: This is only the second match these 11 U.S. players have played together. The first time, against Vietnam.
U.S. status as frontrunners pierced by the Netherlands
It’s been more than a decade since the U.S. women have trailed at halftime in a World Cup match.
That came on July 6, 2011, when Sweden went up, 2-0, on its way to a 2-1 victory over the Americans in Group C play.
The United States still advanced to the knockout round and went to the title match, losing to Japan in penalties.
The Americans also trailed in the quarterfinals in that 2011 tournament, in one of the most famous rallies in USWNT history.
Brazil led the Americans, 2-1, before Abby Wambach headed home a long pass Megan Rapinoe in the 122nd minute. The USWNT then won in penalties.
U.S. head into halftime down 1-0
The Americans headed into the locker room in an unfamiliar position — down 1-0.
After giving up a goal in the 17th minute, the U.S. struggled to find a response and were overwhelmed by Dutch defenders.
Dutch are onto U.S. game plan
The U.S. historically relies on individual skill and pace to outclass opponents — tight dribbling, taking on individual defenders and running past defensive lines at speed.
The Dutch clearly know the U.S. game plan.
The Dutch are happy to sit deep defensively, defend compactly and then break out at speed on the counterattack.
The U.S. has been disjointed in possession and chasing their tails out of possession.
The Dutch are deservedly ahead at this juncture.
U.S. has had no answers on the pitch, and the Dutch coach appears to be outcoaching his U.S. opponent.
More fouls called on the Dutch
There were eight fouls called on the Netherlands by the 38th minute, compared to three on the Americans.
But so far, the U.S. hasn’t been able to convert those foul calls into attacks.
Crowd in the box contributed to opening goal
The Netherlands beat U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, but she might not have had a good look at the scoring shot by Jill Roord.
The strike went through Lindsey Horan’s legs and Naomi Girma might have also been in been in Naeher’s line of vision, as the ball found the lower left-hand corner of the goal.
Crystal Dunn struggling to find her teammates
U.S. defender Crystal Dunn is struggling to find her teammates and has been tripped up a few times coming down on the field.
She’s missed a handful of passes in the middle of the pitch, struggling to put the ball between Dutch players or flat out missing her teammates.
After giving up the goal, the U.S. has struggled to keep possession, conceding control of the ball and the pace to the Dutch.
Netherlands finds its footing
At the 30-minute mark, the Netherlands is really growing into the game. Much more possession, and using it to far greater effect than the U.S.
The U.S. is doing a lot of running, but very often to little avail.
The type of control we’re used to exerting belongs to the Netherlands at the moment.
Which team has the louder fans?
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Big boos from American fans in the stands on that foul call.
By our unscientific assessment, it looks to be roughly equal numbers Dutch and American fans.
The Americans are quite a bit louder with their U-S-A chants during points.
Fans turn out for Team USA
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The stadium is filling up with Team USA fans.
One group from Atlanta is full of World Cup vets. Elizabeth Whitcomb says this year is her sixth, but that the tournament feels different with “so many more fans, more countries showing up here than France.”
So why keep coming back? “What could be better, traveling to new countries, meeting fans. It’s the best!”
The Zak family from Michigan came decked out. It’s their fourth time at the World Cup, and they are expecting a repeat.
The U.S. team got some love from the locals including 10-year-old Scout and 6-year-old Digby who showed up to cheer them on, “Because they’re the champions! Our second favorite team after the Ferns.”
A frenetic first 15
At the 15-minute mark, things are feeling frenetic.
The U.S. has had more of the ball, and until the 17th minute, the only real scoring opportunity. Until the Netherland’s goal, neither team had been successful in establishing any modicum of control.
It’s been a game of counterattacks, and the Netherlands found the breakthrough with a better counterattack.
Up until the goal, the U.S. intensity had been high, generally pressing well out of possession, but they came undone on one solid passage of play from the Netherlands.
The U.S. youth on the front line is showing its age: trying to dribble through defenders too often and losing possession in tight areas.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Dutch flags are flying high! The fans are ecstatic.
Orange flags flapping in the wind around the stadium, and there’s some wooden shoe banging going on, too.
The Netherlands scores the first goal to go ahead 1-0
The first goal of the game was scored by the Dutch in the 17th minute.
The Netherlands was able to score from the top of the box after repeated tries on a press.
Feeling electric inside the stadium
U.S. dominates possession for the first 8 minutes
The Americans dominated possession in the first 8 minutes. Even when the Dutch have taken possession, they’re largely holding back with the ball and not crossing the midfield.
Crystal Dunn was able to deliver a dangerous pass to Alex Morgan in the box, but so far, unable to turn that into a goal.
USNWT hopes for a cake walk in the ‘cake tin’
The USWNT and the Netherlands are facing off at Sky Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand, a stadium known by fans as the “cake tin” for its resemblance to a baking pan. The stadium, which seats 34,500, usually hosts cricket and rugby.
Fans might just need their wellies in Wellington: The forecast is chilly and overcast — high of 53 degrees — with a chance of rain.
If history is any indication, U.S. has the advantage
Tonight’s match marks the 11th time the U.S. and Netherlands have faced off and the third time at a major tournament.
Team USA has dominated the overall series with eight wins, one draw and one loss. And that loss, a 4-3 defeat, happened decades ago — in 1991 — in the first match between the teams.
The U.S. may have the winning record, but most of the W’s came in matches decided by two goals or fewer.
The veterans keep it real, according to Carli Lloyd
The U.S. team features players 18 to 38, and that kind of diversity in experience can be helpful, with veterans keeping younger players focused, said all-time American great Carli Lloyd.
The New Jersey native recalled the moment in the 2015 tournament when then-youngster and now-veteran Julie Ertz was in tears after she gave up a penalty in the semifinals against Germany.
“In that moment, Julie Ertz started crying and getting emotional, and I turned to her and — I’m not going to use the language I used on the pitch — but I told her to ‘snap the [implied expletive] out of it,’” Lloyd told Fox. “It was blunt. It was direct.”
Ready for the Wellington wind
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Hello from inside the stadium!
We are seated just behind the bench. The wind is whipping around the pitch. It was raining just an hour ago.
The temperature says 52, but it feels a lot colder. Most of the U.S. players are wearing an extra layer or two warming up.
When U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski was asked yesterday about the variable weather, he told reporters they trained for all of it. Especially Wellington’s famous wind.
Starting for the U.S. tonight
Team USA is going with the same lineup it started for Friday’s win over Vietnam.
The starting squad includes four players — Naeher, Dunn, Ertz and Morgan — who started against the Netherlands in the 2019 World Cup final, which the U.S. won, the USWNT said.
Injuries sideline Dutch stars
The Netherlands will most likely be without forward Lineth Beerensteyn, who was hurt early in her team’s 1-0 victory over Portugal to open the tournament, when it plays the Americans on Thursday in New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington.
The Americans are the two-time reigning World Cup champions, and Netherlands coach Andries Jonker said on the eve of the match that “we would need a miracle” for Beerensteyn to be ready to play.
“And if that doesn’t happen, then she won’t participate,” he said.
The Netherlands came to the tournament in Australia and New Zealand already missing leading scorer Vivianne Miedema, who ruptured her ACL playing for Arsenal in December. The forward is the Netherlands’ leading scorer, with 95 goals.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken is ready to cheer on Team USA.
He met with the athletes last night in Wellington and was given a team jersey.
(He was given No. 71 — a nod to his being the 71st U.S. secretary of state.)
Blinken’s soccer stop comes as part of his diplomatic trip to Tonga, New Zealand and Australia.
Spain and Japan move on to knockout stage
AUCKLAND, New Zealand — As she has many times before, Jennifer Hermoso answered the call for Spain tonight.
She scored twice and assisted in her 100th international appearance to push La Roja past Zambia 5-0 on Wednesday, a victory that sent Spain and Japan into the Women’s World Cup knockout round.
Spain and Japan are the first teams to clinch berths in the tournament’s round of 16. They will play Monday in Wellington to decide seeding.
USWNT ready to roll
Olympic champion Canada comes back to beat Ireland 2-1
PERTH, Australia — After having conceded a goal directly from a corner kick against Ireland, Olympic champion Canada was in trouble today in its second game of the Women’s World Cup.
After a disappointing 0-0 draw with Nigeria in its opening match of the tournament, and with iconic forward Christine Sinclair on the bench, Canada’s hopes of advancing from the group stage were under threat.
Up against a determined Ireland, an inspired Katie McCabe and torrential rain at Rectangular Stadium, the odds were stacking up against the Canadians.
But with the character of Olympic gold medalists, a touch of fortune and some help from the bench, Canada recovered. Adriana Leon scored the decisive goal early in the second half to complete a come-from-behind 2-1 win that moved her country to the top of Group B and within sight of the round of 16.
Will vets start on sidelines again?
Several familiar names did not make the American starting 11 against Vietnam last week — perhaps in hopes of conserving energy and hiding tactics.
Megan Rapinoe, Rose Lavelle and Kelley O’Hara were among the veterans who began Friday night’s match on the sidelines before they were substituted in later.
Both teams going for a second W
Both teams in tonight’s showdown are looking for World Cup win No. 2. The Netherlands and the U.S. started the tournament with debut victories.
A win by either side could give it a big leg up in winning Group E and possibly avoiding world No. 3 Sweden in the round of 16.
How and when to watch U.S. vs. Netherlands
Up next for the Americans is a game against the Netherlands, who may be out for revenge tonight. After all, it is the team the Americans bested in 2019 to capture a second straight World Cup title.
When: 9 p.m. ET (1 p.m. Thursday local time)
Where: Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand
How to watch: Match televised on Fox and Telemundo and streamed on Peacock.