USA women progress to the quarter finals at the Tokyo Olympics after the top-ranked struggle during goalless draw against Australia
The United States have advanced to the quarter-finals of the women’s football competition after a goalless draw with Australia.
The Americans are looking to win a fifth Olympic gold medal in Tokyo and are also vying to become the first team to win at the Games following a World Cup title.
However, they’ve made it hard for themselves at the Tokyo Olympics. The US team lost to Sweden 3-0 in their opening match – snapping a 44-game unbeaten streak – before rebounding with a 6-1 victory over New Zealand.
The United States have reached the quarter-finals after a tough match against Australia
USA are the top-ranked team in the tournament but it hasn’t gone all their way in the group
The draw with Australia secured the United States second place in Group G behind Sweden on goal difference. The Americans will face the winner of Group F – either the Netherlands or Brazil, depending on late results – in Yokohama on Friday.
The United States made five lineup changes for the match, which was not unexpected given the tight competition schedule.
Alex Morgan was back up front, in place of Carli Lloyd, while Megan Rapinoe replaced Tobin Heath. Captain Becky Sauerbrunn and defender Kelley O’Hara also returned to the starting lineup.
Morgan broke away early in the game but her hard shot was stopped by Australia goalkeeper Teagan Micah.
Morgan’s header in the 30th minute was disallowed for offside, a call that was confirmed by video review. The United States also had four goals called back for offside in the first half of the victory over New Zealand.
Overall, the Americans again looked out of sorts. Australia controlled possession for much of the game.
Australia dominated possession as the Americans looked out of sorts during the game
Australia made a late change to its starting lineup, replacing Caitlin Foord with Mary Fowler.
Children from schools around Kashima, a coastal town of about 67,000, attended the match. When Rapinoe was taken off in the second half, they politely applauded as she passed by.
Australia are likely to advance as the third-place finisher in the group, but they have to wait until the end of play on Tuesday to determine their spot.
With 12 teams competing in the tournament, the top two finishers in each of the three groups advance to the knockout stage, along with the top two third-place finishers.
Australia still have a chance of qualifying as a one of the best third-place teams