It’s win-or-go-home time for the United States at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
After sweeping its way through Group F, the United States is into the Round of 16 for a matchup against Spain with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line.
The United States has never failed to make even the semifinals, so anything less than convincing victory would be a disappointment for the No. 1 team in the world.
Stay tuned for live updates, highlights and analysis as the top-ranked United States continues the quest for its record fourth Women’s World Cup title at Stade Auguste Delaune in Reims, France.
Spain had some great opportunities in stoppage time, but the United States managed to hang on for a 2-1 win.
It was far from an inspiring performance for the United States, which only scored on a pair of penalty kicks, but it is into the quarterfinals nonetheless.
Next up: France.
Check out both of the United States’ goals, both of which came off Megan Rapinoe’s foot on penalty kicks:
Megan Rapinoe puts the United States back ahead. After a somewhat controversy penalty call, Rapinoe stepped up to the spot and put the ball in the exact same place as she did on her first penalty. This time, Spain’s goalkeeper guessed correctly, but couldn’t still couldn’t get her hand on the shot.
The United States leads 2-1 and is just 15 minutes away from reaching the quarterfinals.
Video assistant referee controversy has struck once again. Rose Lavelle apparently got tripped in the box, which set up a penalty kick for the United States, but the referee decided to go to VAR to confirm her initial ruling.
Upon a closer look, contact appears to be minimal, but the call is upheld. Megan Rapinoe will take a penalty.
Rose Lavelle gets the United States its best chance in ages, but the young midfielder put her left-footed shot over the net from the edge of the box.
While the United States continues to command possession, it still has only managed to get seven shots off.
No substitutions for the United States. The United States has 45 minutes to break through before risking extra time and penalties.
The United States is finally being tested.
Despite scoring first, the United States committed a self-inflicted wound with a defensive turnover to let Spain knot the score early. The United States is still generating more chances, but Spain is creating plenty of its own and putting together some of the most threatening opportunities of the match. The United States is only outshooting Spain, 6-2, despite controlling 61 percent of the possession. Both teams have each only put one goal on net.
Megan Rapinoe gets hit with a yellow card after she tries to make a move on the left flank.
Rapinoe changed directions quickly to try to move toward the middle of the field and wound up smacking a Spain defender in the head while making her move. The United States wastes another scoring opportunity.
Since Spain got on the board by applying relentless pressure, the United States has dominated possession for the next 10-plus minutes. The United States is getting crosses off at will, it just hasn’t been able to find the back of the net.
Twice in the last five minutes, a cross has just scooted out of range of Alex Morgan on a goal-scoring opportunity. The striker will have plenty of chances to add to her goals total today.
For the first time in the Women’s World Cup, the United States has allowed a goal.
A miscommunication in the back turned into an easy turnover and Spain took advantage. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher’s careless pass winds up with Spain and Jennifer Hermoso was able to send a shot past Naeher to knot the score at 1-1.
Adversity has finally struck the United States. Spain’s pressure is going to cause some issues.
The United States is on the board first. Tobin Heath draws a penalty in the box and Megan Rapinoe punches the go-ahead goal home in the bottom left corner of the net to put the United States ahead 1-0.
Getting the early goal is critical for the United States, which has yet to concede and play from behind in the Women’s World Cup. Spain will have to play to score, which means no packing it in for the underdog in France.
It took less than a minute for Spain’s first real chance of the match. A charge down the left sideline left the United States to defend a cross into the box. Even after the United States turned aside the first cross, Spain regathered and got a shot off from the edge of the box, although the United States blocked it before it reached net.
Spain’s speed is a weapon the United States will have to contend with. Spain might be the most dangerous offensive team the United States has faced so far in the Women’s World Cup.
The United States is a massive favorite in the Round of 16, but Spain shouldn’t just be some pushover.
Spain is the No. 13 team in the world, which makes it the second toughest team the United States has faced behind only Sweden, which the United States beat 2-0 on Thursday.
It’s a quick turnaround for the United States, too, and Spain has generated scoring chances with enough frequency in France to be a real threat to score the first goal against the United States this World Cup. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, playing in her first World Cup, will finally have a real test.
Ultimately, the United States’ offense is what makes it a clear favorite in any match it enters. Even though the United States has just five goals since its 13-goal barrage against Thailand to open the World Cup, it took an all-time performance from Chile’s goalkeeper to prevent the United States’ second game from being a rout, too.
The United States is just four wins away from its record fourth World Cup title and Spain will provide another good test as it should advance into the more competitive quarterfinals. The match gets started at noon with a spot in the final eight on the line.