Just Women’s Sports is here with your daily World Cup Digest, breaking down all of the biggest storylines from each day of action in Australia and New Zealand.

Today’s top World Cup news: Australia at risk of early World Cup exit

Sam Kerr’s status remains in doubt after Australia’s first two group-stage matches as she continues to nurse a calf injury. And with Mary Fowler and Kyah Simon also out of Thursday’s game against Nigeria, the African squad took full advantage in a 3-2 win.

While Emily van Egmond struck first to give Australia a 1-0 lead, Uchenna Kanu netted an equalizer five minutes later. From there, it was all Nigeria, with Osinachi Ohale and Asisat Oshoala also getting on the scoresheet. The end result? An impressive victory for Nigeria, and a precarious position for Australia heading into its final group-stage match.

With the win, Nigeria holds the top spot in Group B, followed by Canada. Both teams have four points, while Australia sits in third with three.

So the Matildas face a must-win match against Canada at 6 a.m. ET Monday if they want to advance to the knockout stage. The winner of that match would clinch a spot in the round of 16. If Canada loses, it would need Ireland to beat Nigeria in order to advance; if Australia loses, the Matildas are eliminated.

If Canada and Australia tie, then Canada would advance to the knockout rounds and Australia would need a Nigeria loss and a favorable tiebreaker in order to advance. Realistically, that sets up Monday’s clash as win or go home for the World Cup co-hosts.

Today’s top highlight: Lindsey Horan and Danielle van de Donk make nice

After a testy exchange during the U.S. women’s national team’s 1-1 draw with the Netherlands, Lindsey Horan and her Lyon teammate (but Netherlands foe) Danielle van de Donk made nice in the mixed media area.

The two nearly got into it during the match after van de Donk delivered a hard hit to Horan, after which the USWNT midfielder cursed her club teammate, calling her a “f—ing b—-.” Almost immediately afterward, Horan scored the game-tying goal, following Julie Ertz’s instruction to score and “shut everyone up.”

“I don’t think you ever want to get me mad because I don’t react in a good way,” Horan said. “Usually, I just go and I want something more. I want to win more. I want to score more. I want to do more for my team.”

“Between me and Lindsey, nothing happened,” van de Donk told reporters. “Someone got very angry at me!”

Even before the match, Horan expected her teammate to get chippy. But she didn’t mind it.

“You get trash talk every single day from Dan van de Donk,” she said. “And once we play them, you’ll see it. She’ll be coming for my ankles like every single play, so watch out for that. That will be fun.”

Today’s results:

  • USWNT 1, Netherlands 1
  • Nigeria 3, Australia 2
  • Portugal 2, Vietnam 0

More World Cup news to know:

  • USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski defended his decision to use just one substitute in the 1-1 draw against the Netherlands. “I thought we had control of the game and we were knocking on the door of scoring a goal,” he said. “Our players played well. We were around the goal the whole time, and I just didn’t want to disrupt the rhythm.”
  • England manager Sarina Wiegman spoke Wednesday about her team’s “superpower” label ahead of their clash with Denmark. Denmark manager Lars Sondergaard gave that tag to England and called his own side “underdogs” ahead of the match, set for 4:30 a.m. ET Friday. When asked about the comments, Wiegman said she agreed with the label: “Yes, I agree with that, but of course he wants to put us in that position too. But we are always the team to beat.”
  • Colombia’s Linda Caicedo is reportedly “fine” after a scare during training, in which she was seen grabbing her chest and breathing deeply before lying down on the ground. The star played a key role in Colombia’s first group-stage win over South Korea, and the team next faces Germany at 5:30 a.m. ET Sunday.

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.

FINAL: USWNT 1, Netherlands 1

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.

67′: Offside call wipes out go-ahead goal for USWNT

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.

62′: Lindsey Horan ties score for USWNT

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.

51′: Rose Lavelle picks up quick yellow card on illegal tackle

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.

46′: Rose Lavelle replaces Savannah DeMelo

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.

HALF: Netherlands 1, USWNT 0

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.”

36′: USWNT comes up empty despite two consecutive corners

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.

29′: Netherlands sends shot just over crossbar

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.

17′: Netherlands takes 1-0 lead courtesy of Jill Roord

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.

6′: USWNT establishes early pressure

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.

Starting XI: USWNT sticks with same lineup

  • United States
    • Goalkeeper: Alyssa Naeher
    • Defenders: Emily Fox, Julie Ertz, Naomi Girma, Crystal Dunn
    • Midfielders: Andi Sullivan, Lindsey Horan, Savannah DeMelo
    • Forwards: Sophia Smith, Alex Morgan, Trinity Rodman
  • Netherlands
    • Goalkeeper: Daphne van Domselaar
    • Defenders: Stefanie van der Gragt, Dominique Janssen
    • Midfielders: Jill Roord, Sherida Spitse, Danielle van de Donk, Jackie Groenen, Victoria Pelova
    • Forwards: Katja Snoeijs, Lieke Martens, Esmee Brugts

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.

What to know about the Netherlands

What to know about the USWNT

When and how to watch

  • Wednesday, July 26 — 9 p.m. ET (Fox, Peacock, Telemundo)
    • United States vs. Netherlands (Wellington Regional)

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.