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USWNT advances to Olympic quarterfinals in scoreless draw with Australia


Both Australia and the United States women’s national teams’ Olympic dreams live on for another week after Tuesday’s scoreless stalemate.

Each team came into the game guaranteed to advance to the tournament’s quarterfinal with a draw and appeared to put safety first, leaving few memorable moments to speak of.

The mission was accomplished for the USWNT, but fans will still be left wondering if their team is in trouble after a slow start which has only produced one win in group stage play.

Both teams walked away from Tuesday with opportunities they would like to have back.

The USWNT had the better of the chances, and a razor-thin offsides call on Alex Morgan in the 32nd minute headlines the missed opportunities.

Rose Lavelle ran out steam after a long run in the 63rd minute which resulted in a shot that was missing the zest needed to challenge Aussie goalkeeper Teagan Micah.

For Australia, the game could have been in its grasp on a header from Mary Fowler in the 18th minute when a bounce found her with time and space. The ball looked to be going over the bar before USWNT keeper Alyssa Naeher got a glove on it.


Australia dominated the ball to the tune of 60% and the Americans looked to be okay seeing out the draw in the second half as the game came to an uneventful conclusion.

Looking ahead, the USWNT will need to find its trophy-winning gear if it wants to make the Olympics memorable. The gauntlet of contenders in the knockout rounds present far more dangerous challenges than Australia and a steep test lies ahead.

The USWNT will see the winner of Group F next. Either Brazil or 2019 World Cup runner-up Netherlands await the opportunity to take a swing at the seemingly beatable Americans on Monday.


  1. Considering that the squad is getting up there in years, playing for a tie made strategic sense (saving energy). Winning wouldn’t have earned them anything better other than a confidence boost. Still, it’s difficult to see this team making it past the Semis or even into the semis, considering their general level of play. My thought: getting shellacked at the olympics will improve their chances in the next WC if it forces some retirements.

  2. Confused as to how an elbow can make you offside? That seems counter to everything I’ve ever heard during these VAR reviews.

    • any part of the body that is ahead of the line of defenders is considered off sides, it may be petty but it’s the rule and always has been!

    • The offside rule has been defined by FIFA as being “any part of your body THAT IS PLAYABLE which is ahead of a defender when the ball is played forward constitutes an Off-Side. This was brought out in a Champions League Match with Bayern Munich, where Robert Lewondowski was called for an Off-Side where his ARM was offside in the process of scoring a goal. On the VAR, the Goal WAS ALLOWED and the explanation was that you cannot be called for offside where the part of your body which was in an offside position is not a part which can legally play the ball. Thus there was no competitive advantage achieved by his arm being in that position!!!!!

  3. a thought provoked by watching athletes melt in japanese summer and struggle in gold cup is whether the MNT (or perhaps WNT as well) are factoring climate into tactical concepts. a high effort tactical concept might be less risky in a european tournament where summer temps are often mild. but we are playing in qatar where temps in october are 90s (and reached 100 during the 2019 track world championships, where attrition blew up the marathon) and in november are 80s. klinsi’s empty bucket actually seemed to account for brazilian heat. is what we are preparing thinking about qatar? one can safely assume it will be at least warm and perhaps even quite hot. some of these games in KC the team looked like melting…..

    • CONCAFAF schedules the GC elimination rounds in Texas in July solely to maximize revenue. Look at its past history – always targeting areas with a large Hispanic population. The IOC doesn’t even attempt to hide the Summer Games go to the highest bidder. And Qatar in 2022 anyone?

  4. No Surprise here as both teams did what they needed to do to secure their positions in the knockout round. The only change from what I posted earlier as to the U. S. opponent in Round 1 was that Brazil, which I had indicated would probably win Group F by goal differential, decided they didn’t want to play the U. S., so they took their foot off the gas against Zambia, and allowed the Netherlands to win the Group on goal differential so that the Netherlands has to play against the U. S. while Brazil as #2 will draw Canada who was #2 in Group E. I initially thought that The Netherlands would be a good match-up for the U. S. However after watching them against Brazil, and their running up 21 goals in 3 games, I am genuinely concerned about their fire-power. The U.S. will have to remember how they kept The Netherlands without a goal in their prior 2 matches and follow that route if they want to get to round 2.

    • it’s not a surprise in context but in the bigger picture of recent years it’s slippage for a USWNT to be dutifully playing out a controlled 3rd game draw for advancement purposes. they would usually put the opponent to the sword and be done with it. the tactical choice itself says something.


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