Skip to main content

USA Advance to Rd. of 16 via Wambach Goal

The US Women’s National team progressed to the Round of 16 of the 2015 Women’s World Cup with a 1-0 win over Nigeria on June 16, with Abby Wambach scoring the match’s only goal in Vancouver.

The USA finishes the group stage in first place of Group D, with a total of 7 points. Second-placed Australia (4 points) secured a spot in the Round of 16 with a 1-1 draw over Sweden, who sits third with 3 points. Depending on results to come, Sweden could technically still advance, but (according to people who can do these math things better than myself) it seems like unlikely that they will. Nigeria finishes last with 1 point and has been eliminated.

Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan started up front for the US, and the former (despite looking fatigued throughout the second half) stayed on the full 90 minutes.

The first half started with a strong US performance, and a string of early set pieces led to a goal by Julie Johnston in the 8th minute which would be waved offside. Megan Rapinoe, seemingly very confident at the moment, let several good shots fly in the first half. In the 35th minute there was a pretty indisputable handball inside the Nigerian box, but it was not spotted by officials. As the first half was drawing to a close, it looked like the match would be scoreless leading into halftime, but a corner kick in the 45th minute found the boot of Wambach who volleyed the ball home to make it 1-0.

The offensive game, on paper at least, looked to be evenly matched as the skill of the US attack was to be counteracted by the pace of the Nigerian forwards. And while that pace from the Nigerian forwards did help get them a few opportunities, the US back four was up to the task and defended well. The story of the game is told pretty clearly by the amount of shots, as Hope Solo only had to save two shots the entire game (out of a total seven), whereas Nigerian goalkeeper Precious Dede had to make seven saves from 14 shots.

Precious Dede was probably the most interesting case to study from this match. At times she looked very unsure of herself and generally shaky. She had her defenders take goal kicks and free kicks in the box for her, which I’ll admit I myself have done—in U-16 soccer and younger. As a national team goalkeeper, being able to kick the dead ball is a skill that you have to have, period. There was one instance in the first half where Dede decided she would take a goal kick, which resulted in turning the ball over and Rapinoe had a shot which required saving by Dede. At the same time though, Dede came up clutch many times with 7 shots saved, and probably saved her team a more unpleasant scoreline.

The Nigerian defense, as the game wore on, looked to get desperate in their tackling. They ended the match with four yellow cards and one red card earned by Sarah Nnodim for receiving a second yellow card.

The second half of the match played out to be relatively uneventful, with the exceptions of the substitutions of USWNT veterans Shannon Boxx and Christie Rampone, both of whom played their first minutes of the tournament. Rampone also became the oldest player to play in the Women’s World Cup, at the age of 39.

After tonight’s match, one has to wonder if Wambach has found her form again. The game winning goal has to bring confidence to fans, coach Jill Ellis, and, of course, Wambach herself. We’ll have to see if Wambach’s fitness can be addressed, especially if she is going to play multiple full 90 minute matches. I, for one, sure hope so as Wambach is a star player at peak form.

The US plays their Round of 16 match on June 22 against an opponent that is still to be determined. Is that elusive third star on the crest drawing ever nearer? Time will tell.


--Brandon Addeo (@baddeo95 on Twitter)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Please follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook

We're always looking for more writers. If you'd like to be one, e-mail sidelineshindig@gmail.com

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

DIFERENÇAS ENTRE O FUTEBOL EUROPEU E O FUTEBOL BRASILEIRO

por Hugo Haacke

Começando na Europa e se espalhando pelo mundo, hoje, o futebol é o esporte coletivo mais praticado em todo o mundo. Tendo objetivos e regras iguais, o futebol se diferencia de lugar para lugar na sua forma de jogar, torcer e gerenciar. Entre a Europa e a América Latina, onde o futebol é mais popular, há significantes diferenças, tendo como principal referência nesse continente, o Brasil, o país do futebol. A primeira diferença e mais perceptível é a tática e a forma de jogar. No futebol europeu, a velocidade durante a partida inteira é algo natural. Há também características gerais como o costume de manter a linha de quatro no meio de campo e, a estratégia de recomposição do time inteiro, o jogo mais centrado, objetivo e calculado. Já o futebol brasileiro, conforme o tempo passa, os técnicos vêm aproximando a tática de seus times ao futebol europeu – principalmente depois da copa de 1982. Mas em sua essência, o futebol brasileiro sempre se caracterizou por lances com dri…

Kaleemullah Khan's Story

by Meesha Imran

Kaleemullah Khan is a Pakistani footballer who was born in Chaman, Pakistan on September 20th, 1992 and currently plays as a striker for Tulsa Roughnecks FC. 
His international career began when he signed a five-month contract with a club in Kyrgyzstan named FC Dordoi. His performance was so exceptional that the club offered him a two-year contract worth Rs10 million. Khan was named Player of the Year soon after he finished as the highest scorer in the league and also won the Kyrgyz Cup and Super Cup.

All of these early accolades prompted immediate interest and there were invitations for trials from China and Iceland, although his agents had something else in mind. They arranged a one-month trial with USL side Sacramento Republic FC. The USL club put forth a condition; in order for Kaleem to complete the trial, he had to rescind his contract with Dordoi. 

On the first day of his try-out, he twisted his ankle and was advised to rest for a week. Although thoughts of return…

USL 2018 Roster Moves

by Marissa Blackman

Last Updated on 3/16/18 at 6:34 PM EST

This is a running tab of all the roster additions and subtractions for USL clubs.

I will update this list periodically. An asterisk next to a player's name indicates that the player is on loan from another club.
All updates are based on official announcements from each club.

Atlanta United 2
AJ Cochran
Diego Lopez
Jack Metcalf
Yosef Samuel
Shawn Nicklaw
Gaston Cardozo
Brian Gambarte
Nicolaus Caraux
Kevin Barajas
Paul Christensen
Laurent Kissiedou
Andrew Kendall-Moulin
Bethlehem Steel FC
Matthew Mahoney
Chris Nanco
Santi Moar
James Chambers
Brandon Aubrey
Omar Holness
Brandon Allen
Olivier Mbaizo
Aidan Apodaca
AJ Paterson
Prosper Chiluya
Mika Catalano
Drew Skundrich
Charleston Battery
Taylor Mueller
Kotaro Higashi
Quinton Griffith
Skylar Thomas
Tah Brain Anunga
Joe Kuzminsky
Jarad van Schaik
Neveal Hackshaw
Ataulla Guerra
Ian Svantesson
Nico Rittmeyer
Jay Bolt
Ryan Arambula
Odisnel Cooper
Victor Mansaray
Vincenzo Candela
Charlot…