Lindsey Horan provided the emotional fire and the equalizer for the U.S. women’s national team in a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands in the World Cup group stage.
The USWNT captain found herself knocked to the ground after a physical challenge from Danielle van de Donk, much the way her team found itself stunned by the Netherlands’ first-half lead. But Horan responded immediately, first getting into a verbal sparring match with van de Donk and then smashing in the equalizer with a header off a corner kick in the 62nd minute.
The Netherlands had grabbed a 1-0 lead early in the 17th minute, as Jill Roord put a shot past six USWNT defenders and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. Before that goal, the USWNT had not trailed in a World Cup match since 2011.
Both teams had won their opening matches, with the USWNT posting a 3-0 scoreline against Vietnam and the Netherlands securing a defense-minded 1-0 win against Portugal. But the USWNT has recent history on its side heading into Wednesday’s match, with a 2-0 win against the Netherlands at the 2019 World Cup and a 3-2 win on penalty kicks in the 2021 Olympic quarterfinals.
So the battle for the top spot in Group E will come down to the third and final group-stage matches. The USWNT will face Portugal at 3 a.m. ET Tuesday, and the Netherlands will face Vietnam at the same time.
The USWNT trailed in a World Cup match for the first time since 2011 after an early Netherlands goal, but a Horan header saved the day.
Just Women’s Sports writer Claire Watkins questioned the bench usage (or lack thereof) from USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski. The team’s inability to counter the 3-5-2 Dutch formation, particularly the packed midfield, also stood out as an area of concern.
Trinity Rodman found Alex Morgan streaking into the box, and then Morgan hammered her shot home. But the would-be go-ahead goal was ruled offside.
Alex Morgan finds the back of the net for what would have been the go ahead goal for the @USWNT, but is called back 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/cnc2xrI3Cl— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 27, 2023
Alex Morgan finds the back of the net for what would have been the go ahead goal for the @USWNT, but is called back 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/cnc2xrI3Cl
The USWNT captain tangled with Lyon teammate Danielle van de Donk, who knocked Horan to the ground with a physical challenge — and then felt Horan’s wrath as soon as she found her feet. But Horan got the best revenge, scoring the equalizer with a header off a corner kick.
WHO ELSE BUT HORAN?! What a finish to level the score for the @USWNT 🎯🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/N9Tq3eiox1— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 27, 2023
WHO ELSE BUT HORAN?! What a finish to level the score for the @USWNT 🎯🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/N9Tq3eiox1
D.C. GOING NUTS FOR THAT @USWNT GOAL BY @LINDSEYHORAN ‼️🇺🇸 #WorldCupWatchParty pic.twitter.com/LNmwBaoa98— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 27, 2023
D.C. GOING NUTS FOR THAT @USWNT GOAL BY @LINDSEYHORAN ‼️🇺🇸 #WorldCupWatchParty pic.twitter.com/LNmwBaoa98
Just five minutes after entering the match, the 28-year-old midfielder receives the first yellow card of the match for a slide against Jackie Groenen.
While Lavelle was cleared to start, she was utilized off the bench for the second consecutive match. She is recovering from a knee injury, and she played her first minutes since April as a substitute in the World Cup opener against Vietnam. She entered in the 61st minute against Vietnam, but the USWNT brought her on earlier here, perhaps to inject some energy into the midfield.
Aniek Nouwen replaced Stefanie van der Gragt for the Netherlands.
Despite USWNT pressure early and late in the first half, the Netherlands dominated the middle minutes and the middle of the pitch.
The U.S. held a 9-2 advantage in shots. But for Just Women’s Sports writer Claire Watkins, the inability to capitalize on those chances almost could be considered a bigger indictment than not getting those chances at all — if the USWNT can’t get back into the game in the second half.
The Netherlands held USWNT captain Lindsey Horan limited to 22 touches in the first half, and the Fox cameras caught her throwing up her hands in the midfield.
“I want to see more fight, more urgency,” Fox Sports analyst and USWNT legend Carli Lloyd said of the first-half performance. “They started off the game really well, they were high pressing, but now you’re getting picked apart.”
The U.S. took two corner kicks in a row in the 35th and 36th minutes but did not score on either opportunity.
Fox Sports analyst and USWNT legend Carli Lloyd pointed out the team’s struggle to finish its chances against Vietnam, which she called a “worrying” trend under head coach Vlatko Andonovski. The USWNT finished its 3-0 win against Vietnam with 28 shots, seven of them on target.
Dominique Janssen sends a shot inches over the crossbar. The ball lands in the top of the net, a warning to the USWNT of just how close the Netherlands came to extending the lead. The Dutch team has controlled 55% of possession since scoring the first goal.
Dominique Janssen's volley from outside the area doesn't miss by much 🇳🇱 pic.twitter.com/3LHPwjEbjZ— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 27, 2023
Dominique Janssen's volley from outside the area doesn't miss by much 🇳🇱 pic.twitter.com/3LHPwjEbjZ
From the top of the box, Roord shot past six USWNT defenders and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher to score the first goal of the match. While Trinity Rodman followed with a shot of her own almost immediately, goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar made the stop to preserve her team’s 1-0 lead.
Before this goal, the USWNT had not trailed in a World Cup match since 2011, holding opponents scoreless across a record 17-match stretch.
NETHERLANDS STRIKES FIRST 🇳🇱Jill Roord fires it into the bottom corner of the net! pic.twitter.com/E3eWRb3GmL— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 27, 2023
NETHERLANDS STRIKES FIRST 🇳🇱Jill Roord fires it into the bottom corner of the net! pic.twitter.com/E3eWRb3GmL
The speed up the left side of the field (particularly Crystal Dunn and Sophia Smith) created early chances for the USWNT, including this ball that dribbled all the way to the Dutch goalkeeper. Alex Morgan just missed the chance to tap it into the net.
Crystal Dunn's ball rolls all the way to Daphne van Domselaar 👀 pic.twitter.com/gL6ph3zzna— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 27, 2023
Crystal Dunn's ball rolls all the way to Daphne van Domselaar 👀 pic.twitter.com/gL6ph3zzna
The USWNT is sticking with the same starting lineup it used against Vietnam, which makes this the first time since 1999 that the team is repeating a lineup in consecutive group-stage matches. Four of the players also started against the Netherlands in the 2019 final: Naeher, Dunn, Ertz and Morgan.
Your XI in Wellington 🇺🇸#USWNT x @Visa pic.twitter.com/eP4SAPB0Qx— U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (@USWNT) July 26, 2023
Your XI in Wellington 🇺🇸#USWNT x @Visa pic.twitter.com/eP4SAPB0Qx
The USWNT will play three group-stage matches at the World Cup, one against each of its opponents in Group E. After opening the tournament with a 3-0 win against Vietnam, the USWNT will face the Netherlands and then close the group stage against Portugal at 3 a.m. ET Tuesday.
The 2019 World Cup rematch against the Netherlands is available to watch on Fox and Telemundo. It also can be streamed on the Fox Sports app and on Peacock.