In a closely contested match and a rematch of the 2019 World Cup final, the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) and the Netherlands, two of the world’s top teams, played to a 1-1 draw at the 2023 Women’s World Cup on Thursday.

The atmosphere at Wellington Regional Stadium was charged with chants of “U-S-A, U-S-A!” as the USWNT faced the Netherlands in their second match of the tournament. However, the Dutch took an early lead when midfielder Jill Roord scored in the 17th minute, beating USWNT goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.

This marked the first time the USWNT trailed in a Women’s World Cup match since 2011, during the quarterfinal against Brazil. Prior to this match, the US had gone 17 consecutive matches without trailing, setting a record for the longest streak in the tournament’s history.

The Netherlands, seeking revenge for their 2-0 loss to the US in the 2019 World Cup, put up a strong fight. Despite trailing at halftime, the USWNT outshot the Netherlands 9-2 in the first half, and their efforts paid off in the 62nd minute when they scored the equalizer.

A few minutes later, the USWNT thought they had taken the lead through a goal by forward Alex Morgan, but it was disallowed due to an offside call. Despite five minutes of added stoppage time, neither team managed to break the deadlock before the final whistle.

With this draw, the USWNT extends their unbeaten streak to 19 matches at the World Cup, setting a new record for both men’s and women’s editions of the tournament. Midfielder Lindsey Horan expressed her delight at the team’s ability to come back and avoid a loss in the group stage, praising their response and momentum.

Dutch goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar also commended her team’s performance and their composure, particularly in the first half. She acknowledged the USWNT’s dominance in the second half but expressed pride in her team’s efforts.

In another Group E match featuring two World Cup debutants, Portugal defeated Vietnam 2-0 in Hamilton, New Zealand. Telma Encarnação opened the scoring early on, and Francisca Nazareth added a second goal, securing an important three points for Portugal.

Unfortunately, with two defeats in their first two games, Vietnam has been eliminated from the tournament.

Next, the USA, as the back-to-back defending champions, are scheduled to face Portugal on August 1, while the Netherlands will take on Vietnam on the same day. The group stage matches will conclude after August 3, leading to the knockout stage with the remaining 16 teams.

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