Champions United States held 1-1 by Dutch in World Cup thriller

Champions United States held 1-1 by Dutch in World Cup thriller

WELLINGTON-- A second-half goal from co-captain Lindsey Horan allowed the United States to fight back for a 1-1 draw against the Netherlands in a thrilling Women's World Cup Group E match on Thursday. The fiercely-fought re-run of the 2019 final lived up to its billing and both sides had good chances to win the fixture in an action-packed final 20 minutes. The Dutch struck first through a brilliant strike from Jill Roord from the edge of the box in the 17th minute and the U.S. went in at halftime trailing in a World Cup match for the first time since 2011. Horan answered for the four-times champions from a Rose Lavelle corner in 62nd minute, making a great run to the near post to power an unstoppable header past Dutch goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar. The Americans had not been held to a draw in a World Cup match since 2015 and will rue their effort early in the game as well as an inability to take their chances at the end. They remain top of Group E on goal difference from the Dutch heading into their final match against Portugal next Tuesday, but the Netherlands will be confident of erasing that advantage when they take on Vietnam at the same time. The Netherlands broke the impasse when Lieke Martens pierced the U.S. defence to get the Dutch into the attacking third, and Victoria Pelova cut the ball back for Roord to drill it past American goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. The Americans reacted immediately attempts by Trinity Rodman and Horan that the Netherlands keeper was able to save, but were given another fright in the 29th minute when Dominique Janssen fired a sizzling shot just over the bar. The U.S. team, who are on the hunt for an unprecedented third consecutive title, came out in the second half with renewed resolve and got their reward when Horan equalised just after the hour mark. Morgan thought she had put them in front a couple of minutes later when she put the ball in the net from Rodman's pass but the striker was ruled offside. Ertz prevented disaster for the Americans in the 80th minute when she got her foot in front of the ball to block Esmee Brugts's shot after a well-worked move by the Dutch. As the US piled forward in search of a winner, Rodman screwed a shot wide of the far post and Sophia Smith had an effort headed off the line by Lieke Martens, but the Dutch held firm to secure a point.

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