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Alex Morgan: USWNT broke down ‘what went wrong’ in group stage

Alex Morgan has yet to score in the 2023 World Cup. (Photo by Robin Alam/USSF/Getty Images)

The U.S. Women’s National Team understands what’s at stake.

Coach Vlatko Andonovski’s team advanced to the Round of the 16 – it will play Sweden on Sunday – despite not playing its best in the group stage. Co-captain Alex Morgan believes the team has learned from what went wrong and is eager to prove itself against Sweden.

“I think we’ve broken down what went wrong, how we can fix that, in possession, out of possession, how we can capitalize on the chances we have in front of goal, how we can create more chances in front of goal, how I can put away the chances that I’m given,” Morgan told reporters.

The USWNT has endured harsh criticism from fans and experts in the wake of its 0-0 draw against Portugal in the final game of the group stage. The two-time defending World Cup champion would’ve been eliminated from the tournament with a defeat.

“There’s no sugarcoating it, we had a bad game,” Morgan said. “And we are lucky. We have moved on from that and are looking forward to this match. We’ve prepared every second we possibly could in creating the most chances, on limiting [Sweden] in chances, and I feel very motivated for the match.”

Morgan scored six goals in the 2019 World Cup but hasn’t found the back of the net yet. But Morgan believes she and her teammates will make the necessary adjustments for a stronger showing against the No. 3-ranked team in the world.

“It hasn’t been the tournament that I would have hoped,” Morgan said. “But at the same time, having this incredible opportunity in front of us in the round of 16, facing Sweden, a team we know extremely well, I think there’s no question we are highly motivated to play this game.”