06/15 16:34 CDT United States face Chile with chance to advance in World Cup
United States face Chile with chance to advance in World Cup
By JENNA FRYER
AP Sports Writer
PARIS (AP) --- The United States gets back on the field at the Women's World
Cup on Sunday, just as the uproar following its opening 13-0 win is quieting
Criticized for both running up the score against Thailand and celebrating each
of its record-breaking 13 goals, the Americans have dismissed the scrutiny and
focused only on their bid to win a fourth World Cup title. The next challenge
is against Chile in a Group F match at Parc des Princes.
A win for the U.S. would move the squad into the round of 16, and Chile
understands the challenge it is facing against the top team in the world.
"We don't go on to the pitch thinking of losing by a small margin," Chile
forward Yanara Aedo said. "We go out to get something, at least a point. It's
not a victory to lose by a small margin against the USA. A victory for us is to
play well, to the best of our capabilities, and playing the way we know to
Chile lost to Sweden 2-0 in its opener and coach Jose Letelier is not looking
back at that match, or the United States' game against Thailand.
"Even if the results had gone another way, we're not going to compare any other
way. We're not going to be focusing on a match that's gone by, someone else's
match. We're going to focus on our own match," he said. "I think for our
national team, it's an experience in itself even to play at this elite level.
"We're very clear what we're up against and we're going to take all the
necessary precautions and we're just going to basically try to show what we can
do on the pitch."
The United States is on cruise control and coach Jill Ellis has the ability to
make tweaks to her lineup if she wants to rest some of her players. There are
only three days of rest between matches for the rest of the tournament, and the
Americans have a deep and talented bench of some of the best players in the
SWEDEN-THAILAND: The World Cup opener could not have gone worse for Thailand,
which was humiliated 13-0 by the United States in the game that has received
the most attention so far in this tournament.
Next up for Thailand is a Group F match against Sweden at Stade de Nice, and
the Swedes can advance into last 16 with a win. But the Scandinavians may also
try to run up the score in an attempt to level the goal differential with the
Americans. If Sweden and the United States both finish with the same amount of
points in the group, the team with the better goal difference would finish
"We don't know how important it will be to score a lot of goals, and you can't
go out to a match and decide to score a lot of goals," Sweden coach Peter
Gerhardsson said. "We have to focus on our performance and how we want the
match to go. We have a plan for this match. We are going to do everything in
our power to win this game, and what the result is? That remains to be seen
Thailand coach Nuengrutai Srathongvian believes even though her squad lost by
the largest margin in World Cup history, the encouragement from supporters has
lifted their spirits and prepared them for another match.
"We have to admit that we were really disappointed by the opening game,"
Srathongvian said. "But after the match we received support from many
stakeholders, and the players have been through this, many times. Now everybody
is mentally ready to play."
Sweden is ranked ninth in the world, won the silver medal at the 2016 Rio de
Janeiro Olympics and has high expectations for the World Cup.
RECAPPING SATURDAY: Jessie Fleming and Nichelle Prince each had second-half
goals and Canada advanced to the knockout round at the Women's World Cup with a
2-0 victory over New Zealand. Fleming, who made her debut with the senior
national team at 15, currently plays for UCLA. The Canadians had never advanced
from the group stage when playing outside of North America. ... The Netherlands
earn a spot in the second round with a 3-1 win over Cameroon in Valenciennes.
Vivianne Miedema scored a goal in each half, and Dominique Bloodworth also
scored for the Netherlands. Gabrielle Ongun got Cameroon's goal in the 43rd.
Cameroon is in last place in the group, with no points and a minus-3 goal
difference, and it is all but eliminated. Cameroon plays New Zealand on
Thursday, and the Netherlands meets Canada in a match that kicks off at the
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