The United States Women’s National Team have another big match ahead of them tomorrow as they take on Australia in the final matchday of the group stage. The USWNT are back in position to qualify for the knockout stage of the Olympics after their big win over New Zealand, but Australia is a tough team that has always played the Americans well over the years. The 9th ranked team in the world want to make sure they advance, and with both teams tied at 3 points in the group, this match is an important one to close out the group stage.
The USWNT hope to improve even further with their play, which has been shaky thus far in the tournament. Even against New Zealand, it wasn’t a complete game for the Americans. There’s no better time to put it all together than against the Matildas, who want to tell the world that they are also a legit medal contender.
What To Watch For
Stop Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord. The Aussie offense runs through two people: Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord. Two of the best players on earth, you can’t leave them alone because they’ll punish you. The USWNT will have to make sure they can’t get behind them and have the freedom to take shots. Both Kerr and Foord will be tough assignments for the defense, but it’s one that they need to deliver.
Intensity. USA-Australia matches are always intense, and tomorrow will be no different. The USWNT will have to match the intensity that the Matildas will bring and still execute.
Defense needs to be clean. The defense has been arguably the shakiest unit so far in these Olympics. So tomorrow, they need to play organized, focused, and clean. The midfield needs to assist at times, but the defense as a whole needs to control the defensive third all match and keep the Aussies at bay.
There are quite a few scenarios for the USWNT to advance to the knockout stage. Here are the most prevalent scenarios that American fans need to concern themselves win.
Win vs. Australia - advance as either Group G winner or runner-up
Draw vs. Australia - advance as Group G runner-up
Loss vs. Australia - could advance as Group G 3rd place team should China and Zambia lose OR a Japan loss OR Chile win by less than 4 goals with a USA loss of 2 goals
Simply put, get a result against Australia, and the USWNT will advance to the knockout stage.
Anything can happen in this match, but the quality of the #1 team in the world will show up in the 2nd half. It’s a 3-1 victory for the USWNT, and they advance as the Group G runners-up.