How close USWNT came to shocking World Cup group stage elimination

The U.S. women’s national team (USWNT) narrowly avoided a shocking elimination in the World Cup group stage with a lackluster 0-0 draw against Portugal, reported by just women’s sports. While the result was enough to secure their place in the knockout stage, the performance left much to be desired and raised concerns about the team’s direction.

The USWNT finished as the runner-up in Group E, with just four points, which is their lowest-ever point total for a World Cup group stage. The Netherlands’ dominant 7-0 victory against Vietnam secured them the top spot in the group and a potentially easier route through the knockout bracket.

In the Round of 16, the USWNT will face the winner of Group G, likely to be Sweden, in what promises to be a challenging match at 5 a.m. ET on Sunday. The USWNT has a history of success, having won back-to-back Olympic and World Cup tournaments in 2000 and 2003. However, their lackluster performance in the group stage has raised concerns about their ability to make a deep run in this World Cup.

During the match against Portugal, the USWNT struggled to maintain possession, with Portugal enjoying 56% of the ball. Despite outshooting their opponents 17-6 and having six shots on target, the USWNT failed to find the back of the net.

Heading into the knockout stage, the team will need to make significant adjustments and improvements to their gameplay if they want to defend their title successfully. The coaching staff and players must analyze their performance, identify areas of weakness, and work on tightening their defense and increasing their efficiency in front of goal.

The USWNT has a talented squad with experienced players, and they will need to come together as a cohesive unit to overcome the challenges that lie ahead. As the tournament progresses, fans and critics alike will be closely watching how the team responds to this wake-up call and if they can recapture the form that has made them one of the most dominant forces in women’s soccer.