Kelley O’Hara’s strong message after barely eking past World Cup group stage

The U.S. Women’s National Team are moving on to the knockout stage of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but not before the USWNT had an underwhelming performance in a scoreless draw against Portugal.

In other words, the USWNT is headed to the knockout stage on a seemingly wobbly form, as evidenced by their lackluster play versus Portugal. The Americans lost the possession battle by a significant margin to Portugal, which controlled the ball 56 percent of the time. They did have six shots on goal to just zero by their opponents, however.

All that being said, the USWNT knows that at the end of the day, they are still alive in the tournament and that’s all that matters at the moment. Veteran defender Kelley O’Hara underscored the team’s need to refocus when she spoke to her teammates following the Portugal game.

“I just told the team ‘Listen, we did what we had to do, we’re moving on, the group stage is done, this is over, it’s in the rearview, we have our next game in front of us and that’s the only one that matters,” O’Hara shared (h/t Caitlin Murray of ESPN). “Maybe we didn’t do it the way we wanted to, or planned on doing it, but we’re advancing and this is the World Cup and that’s all that matters.”

O’Hara and the USWNT finished the group stage with a win and two draws . Up ahead for them is a date in the round of 16 against the top team in Group G, which is likely going to be Sweden.