Defending champions US struggle to reach FIFA Women's World Cup last 16

Defending champions US struggle to reach FIFA Women's World Cup last 16

Goalless draw with Portugal sends US to knockout stage, 3rd-placed Portugal return home

By Can Erozden

Reigning champions US took a nervy 0-0 draw with Portugal to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup Round of 16 on Tuesday.

Portugal should have won the Group E game in New Zealand's Auckland to proceed.

A draw has enabled the US to reserve a place at the knockout stage after the Netherlands, who won the group.

Portuguese forward Ana Capeta had a clear chance in the area in the injury time, but she hit the post to miss it, a heart-stopping moment in the match against the holders.

In another Group E match, the Netherlands hammered Vietnam 7-0 in Dunedin to win the group with seven points. Second-placed US racked up five points in three games to march to the next round.

Third-placed Portugal had four points to be eliminated from the World Cup.

Underdogs Vietnam, who were already eliminated, came last after losing all their three games in this group.

The last 16 will begin Saturday.

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