The U.S. women’s national team will take on Portugal at 3 a.m. ET on Tuesday with plenty at stake in its Women’s World Cup group stage finale.
Team USA enters the the game with the edge in Group E. It’s tied with Netherlands atop the standings with four points and holds a 3-1 edge over the Dutch in goal differential, the first tiebreaker. But it’s not in complete control of its group stage outcome.
A win or a draw against Portugal would secure USA’s spot in the knockout Round of 16. An upset loss would put its World Cup in peril, opening the door for Netherlands and Portugal to advance. That’s not expected. The USWNT was a -350 betting favorite to win as of Monday evening.
The more likely prize at stake is first place in Group E which would provide an easier path through the knockout round as the USWNT seeks a third consecutive World Cup victory. After a 1-1 tie with Netherlands on Wednesday, Netherlands is very much alive to claim the top spot.
While USA holds the goal-differential edge, Netherlands is playing a Vietnam team that USA beat, 3-0 and Portugal beat, 2-0. Netherlands will have plenty of opportunity to make up ground in the tiebreaker column. The next tiebreaker is total goals scored, where USA enters the final round with a 4-2 edge over Netherlands.
Team USA must remain aggressive against Portugal to ensure its spot in the knockout round and its best shot at a favorable draw. History favors the USWNT, which is 10-0 against Portugal with a combined score of 39-0. USA won the most recent meeting, 1-0 in a 2021 matchup in Houston.
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