AUCKLAND, New Zealand — United States girls’s nationwide group coach Vlatko Andonovski hit again at criticism from former participant Carli Lloyd, calling it “insane” to doubt the gamers’ drive to win after a listless 0-0 draw vs. Portugal within the Girls’s World Cup on Tuesday.
The end result was a disappointment for the No. 1-ranked U.S. group, the overwhelming favourite to beat No. 21-ranked Portugal, after having received the earlier two Girls’s World Cups.
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The trail for the People additionally hinged on the outcomes of the Netherlands match in opposition to Vietnam, performed concurrently in Dunedin. With a decisive 7-0 victory, the Netherlands received Group E, bumping the US to second place.
Now the USWNT heads to a round-of-16 matchup in opposition to Sweden.
Requested about Lloyd’s postgame remarks that the U.S. lacked “ardour,” Andonovski stated it did not match what he noticed.
“The one factor I wish to say is that this group needed to win this recreation greater than the rest,” Andonovski stated. “They’ve put every little thing they might in preparation for this event and each recreation that they go into, so to query the mentality of this group, to query the willingness to win, to compete, I believe it is insane.
“I’ve by no means seen this group step on the sphere and never attempt laborious or not compete. Everyone seems to be entitled to their opinion, they’ll say no matter they need, however I simply understand how this group feels.
“It isn’t like we performed effectively by any means. We owned it. We all know it isn’t adequate. We’re not proud of our efficiency, however we certified for the subsequent spherical. We’re transferring on.”
The U.S. received just one recreation in group play for the primary time in event historical past, and scored simply 4 objectives over the three video games.
“It isn’t the end result we needed, however we transfer ahead,” ahead Alex Morgan stated.
The People, probably the most profitable group ever on the World Cup with 4 titles, have by no means been eradicated within the group stage on the World Cup.
Lloyd, who retired on the finish of 2021 after 16 years on the nationwide group, is now a commentator for Fox Sports activities, the English-language broadcaster of the Girls’s World Cup in the US.
She has been a frequent critic of the group since retiring, rallying in opposition to a tradition of the group that she stated had moved away from specializing in profitable. She supplied comparable criticism after the match, which a journalist relayed to Andonovski.
“You by no means wish to take something without any consideration,” Lloyd stated. “You placed on that jersey and also you wish to give it every little thing you’ve got, for the those who got here earlier than you and the folks which are gonna come after you, and I am simply not seeing that zeal.
“I am simply seeing a really lackluster, uninspiring, taking-it-for-granted, the place profitable and coaching and doing all you could to be the very best particular person participant just isn’t taking place.”
Ana Capeta almost scored for Portugal about two minutes into stoppage time, however her shot hit the left put up. The Portuguese gamers sobbed on the sphere after the ultimate whistle after having come so near the upset. Capeta’s shot in stoppage time appeared so good that her coaches began celebrating and the gamers on the bench jumped to their toes.
“I actually believed that the purpose could be in that second and I used to be beginning to assume, ‘What can I do to assist my gamers if we’re profitable 1-0?'” Portugal coach Francisco Neto stated. “What I stated to the women, I used to be very proud. In fact, they’re very unhappy as a result of we now have enormous expectations of ourselves.”
Lynn Williams, who began for the U.S. for the primary time within the event, had an opportunity on a header within the 14th minute, however Portugal goalkeeper Ines Pereira smothered it. Whereas the U.S. managed possession and had the higher probabilities, the group couldn’t end.
Rose Lavelle picked up a yellow card within the thirty eighth minute, her second of the group stage, and he or she will not be obtainable for the group’s round-of-16 match.
In a postgame huddle, defender Kelley O’Hara, one of many U.S. group’s veterans, shouted at her teammates.
“I simply informed the group, ‘Pay attention, we did what we needed to do, we’re transferring on, the group stage is finished, that is over, it is within the rearview, we now have our subsequent recreation in entrance of us and that is the one one which issues,'” O’Hara stated. “Perhaps we did not do it the way in which we needed to, or deliberate on doing it, however we’re advancing and that is the World Cup and that is all that issues.”
The USA final misplaced within the group stage to Sweden on the 2011 World Cup, however the People nonetheless superior to the ultimate earlier than dropping on penalties to Japan.
The People haven’t wanted the ultimate group-stage match to study their event destiny since 2007, when there was solely a slim probability for elimination.
Data from The Related Press was used on this report.