The United States women’s national team booked its ticket to the knockout stage in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup with a 3-0 win over Chile on Sunday in Paris, France. The Americans will now look to win Group F on Thursday when they take on Sweden in the final game of the opening round of the tournament. The U.S. can finish either first or second in the group, and its possible opponents are already starting to take a bit of shape. Here’s a look at the key questions entering the Sweden game. You can watch the entire tournament on fuboTV (Try for free).
What does the U.S. need to win the group?
Avoid defeat. A win or draw gives the U.S. first place above Sweden. A loss will see the U.S. finish in second place in the group, with Sweden finishing in first — regardless of that cushy goal differential they obtained in the first two games. Chile and Thailand are mathematically unable to finish in the top two.
Game on Thursday.
You know what to do ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/bXbEtrOaU0
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) June 17, 2019
Who would the U.S. play if it wins the group?
A win over Sweden on Thursday means Jill Ellis’ squad would take on Spain in the round of 16, which finished in second place in Group B. Spain defeated South Africa, 3-1, in the opener, lost to Germany 1-0 in the second game and drew China 0-0 on Monday. This is a team that has quite a bit of talent but has really struggled to score goals. Only one of their goals came in the run of play, with two goals coming via penalty kick.
Who would the U.S. play if it finishes in second?
If the U.S. loses to Sweden, that will see them play the runner-up of Group E in the round of 16. That would either be the Netherlands or Canada. Those two meet on Thursday to decide who wins their group, just like the U.S. and Sweden.
When and where will the USWNT play?
No matter what happens in the USWNT’s next game, it is guaranteed to be playing a knockout stage match on June 24. If it wins the group, the will travel to Reims to take on Spain. If it finishes second in the group, it will face either Canada or Netherlands in Paris.