2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Jun 17, 2015 19:58:15 GMT
Post by Admin on Jun 17, 2015 19:58:15 GMT
With a 1-0 victory over Nigeria Tuesday at BC Place, the U.S. booked a trip to Edmonton for the Round of 16. Its opponent has yet to be determined, but will likely be the third place finisher in Group F, which could be either Colombia or England.
Coach Jill Ellis shook things up to start with some intriguing lineup changes, giving injured Alex Morgan her first World Cup start ever over Sydney Leroux, who started the two previous matches. Tobin Heath got the nod over Christen Press on the left flank as Megan Rapinoe moved to the right. The U.S. came out flying in the first 10 minutes, but after several missed opportunities, the game slowed down.
The U.S. had 18 set pieces against Nigeria. It took 12 free kicks and six corners and only scored once. It was a beautiful goal by Abby Wambach, a volley off a Rapinoe corner in the dwindling seconds before halftime, but with the amount of numbers the Americans push forward, plus the fact that Nigeria had been weak on set pieces against Sweden and Australia, the U.S. should have capitalized on those opportunities.
Through three World Cup games, no one has played better for the U.S. The 23-year-old center back has done everything. She gets stuck in on every set piece and had a gorgeous goal called back as offside in the eighth minute. Depending on which camera angle you look at, it could have been a goal.
She also had one of the most critical saves of the game. With the match tied 0-0 in the 25th minute, Nigeria forward Asisat Oshoala broke away down the middle of the field and got a shot off that looked like it was going to skate right by Hope Solo. But Johnston’s foot sent it wide at the last minute. Throughout each game, she makes critical tackles in the midfield, smart defensive plays on the back line and tactical moves in the box while in the attacking third.