The United States Women’s National Team have tied Australia 0-0 in the last game of the group stage. The game was a defensive stalemate with both teams having some chances that were ultimately snuffed out by the backlines.
The second place result marks the first time the USWNT has failed to win their group at the Olympics since the 1996 games when they finished second to China. This is also the first time they’ve tied a game 0-0 in the Olympics since the final group game of that Olympics when the Americans and the Chinese played to a scoreless tie.
In a game that saw few real threats for either side, the best chance of the game came in the first half when Australia’s Mary Fowler put a scare into goalie Alyssa Naeher with a header that smashed into the crossbar. On the US front their best chance of the game came when a cross from Kelley O’Hara was headed in by Alex Morgan in the 30th minute before the side judge ruled it offsides by the slimmest of margins. Alex Morgan also had another shot on goal late in the game that was ruled offsides as she sent the ball into the 10th row. In total the US produced 4 shots on goal, with 8 total, while the Matilda’s had 10 shots with 3 of them on goal.
The name of the game for the Americans was missed opportunities and a lack of crispness, with multiple turnovers and balls that were played past the intended target into the arms of Australian goaltender Teagan Micah or over the intended target and out of bounds or just to the feet of Australian defenders.
The game saw forward Lynn Williams make an appearance which means that now every player has made an appearance in these Olympics for the Americans. The game also saw the American’s first yellow card, with Megan Rapinoe being booked in the 38th minute.
Meg Linehan from the Athletic reports that Australian coach Tony Gustavsson spoke about what was a timid American squad after the game.
“The one thing that surprised me a little bit was that they were a bit passive in their pressing and I’m used to seeing them very very aggressive,” Gustavsson said.
The draw sees the US through to the knockout stages after placing second in the group behind Sweden. The team will play the winner of group F which will be either the Netherlands or Brazil.