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Women’s World Cup: United States & Netherlands share spoils, Nigeria stun Australia

A mouth-watering 2023 Women’s World Cup encounter between the United States and the Netherlands failed to produce a winner today.

Wolfsburg midfielder Jill Roord opened the scoring in the 17th minute with a sublime finish into the bottom corner from just inside the box to put Andries Jonker’s side in front at half-time.

But the reigning world champions salvaged a point through former Lyon ace Lindsey Horan headed home from an inch-perfect corner-kick delivery from Rose Lavelle midway through the second half.

Vlatko Andonovski’s high-flying team saw their ten-match winning streak in all competitions end abruptly in a repeat of the 2019 Women’s World Cup final.

It’s only a minor setback as they are well on course to reaching the knockout stage, heading into the group-stage finale as Group E leaders, albeit they’re level on points with the second-placed Netherlands.

Following a 3-0 thrashing of group minnows Vietnam on day one, the Stars and Stripes need a point against Portugal next Tuesday to seal progression into the round of 16.

As for the Netherlands, a matchday-three encounter against rock-bottom Vietnam should be a mere formality to confirm their place in the knockout phase.

In the other Group E fixture, Portugal netted twice within the opening 21 minutes of play to overcome the Vietnamese 2-0 and throw their qualification hopes a lifeline.

However, their bid to reach the last-16 in their maiden Women’s World Cup campaign requires a mammoth effort as they must defeat a more heavily fancied US side in their final group outing.

Elsewhere, Nigeria upset the apple cart, fighting back from a 1-0 deficit to topple co-hosts Australia 3-2 in an action-packed contest at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.

Seeking a second straight knockout qualification in the tournament for the first time in the nation’s history, Randy Waldrum’s ladies stunned Matildas in one of the most exciting matches in this summer’s World Cup.

An unexpected victory helped Nigeria soar to the top of Group B ahead of round three, leaving Australia a point behind second-placed Canada.

Tony Gustavsson’s team must beat the Canucks in a nerve-shredding Group B finale to avoid a first group-stage elimination since 2003.

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