all scores

Alex Morgan, Lindsey Horan again lament USWNT’s missed chances

Neither Lindsey Horan nor Alex Morgan was able to find the back of the net against Portgual. (Brad Smith/USSF/Getty Images)

Lindsey Horan and Alex Morgan are two of the most prolific U.S. women’s national team goal scorers of the past decade. But in the team’s 0-0 draw against Portugal, neither player found the back of the net.

The lackluster offensive performance was the continuation of an unsettling trend for the USWNT, which finished runner-up in Group E to advance to the Round of 16. The team attempted 17 shots against Portugal, including six on goal, but could not finish.

“We had our opportunities in front of the goal, even like two yards out,” Horan said. “We have to finish them.”

Added Morgan: “We could’ve made other decisions or been a little bit more patient on certain crosses.”

Horan has scored twice in the World Cup, once in the team’s 3-0 victory over Vietnam and again in the 1-1 draw against the Netherlands. Morgan, who scored six goals in the 2019 World Cup, has yet to score, and missed a penalty against Vietnam — the first U.S. penalty to be saved at a World Cup since 2003, when Mia Hamm was denied against Norway.

The USWNT finished with 28 shots (seven on goal) against Vietnam and 18 (four on goal) against the Netherlands. After the Portugal game, Horan was asked if the USWNT’s team effort would be good enough against Sweden, its likely opponent in the next round.

“We always want to be better, we always want to improve,” said Horan, who recorded six goals and five assists in 22 matches for the USWNT in 2021. “This result was good enough to put us through to the next round, but it’s not good enough for us, and we know that. We have to move forward, and we learn our lessons from the few things we can take away from this game.”