When the United States were desperate for a spark, Lindsey Horan channeled her anger into a much-needed goal to keep the Americans unbeaten at the Women’s World Cup.
Fuming after she was knocked over by Danielle Van de Donk in the second half, Horan scored a revenge goal minutes after to help the United States squeeze out a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands on Thursday at the Women’s World Cup.
The Dutch struck first with a goal from Jill Roord in the first-half to surprise the Americans, who needed Horan’s goal to remain unbeaten in 19 consecutive matches.
Horan’s goal on a header off a corner kick from Rose Lavelle in the 62nd minute followed some jawing between Horan and Van de Donk, who both play professionally for the French club Lyon.
Horan was clearly angry after she was knocked off her feet, and she even cursed in the direction of Van de Donk.
“Dan is that type of player that, when she’s on my team, it’s incredible because she’s going to fight to the last second to win the game, and go into that last tackle, and that’s what she did,” Horan said. “Unfortunately, I did not take it in a good way, I got a little heated, and she got to hear it.”
Horan, who already had a yellow card from the previous match, was calmed by American defender Julie Ertz.
“She was like, `Linds, don’t get another yellow card, just score this goal to shut everyone up,’” Horan said.
She did just that for Horan’s 29th career goal, fourth in the World Cup, and second consecutive in this tournament.
Horan got the ball from Lavelle and before it even crossed the goal line, Horan’s expression showed she knew she was on target.
“Once we got through that tackle, all I wanted to do was score,” Horan said.
Van de Donk knew she had lit a fire in Horan.
“She got a bit feisty and she came over, we just had a little talk,” Van de Donk said. “The referee came in between, it wasn’t very necessary. I mean, we just played football again after that.”
Van de Donk even joked with Horan, telling her club teammate, “you’re going to be smiling at me 20 minutes after the game.”
With the draw, neither team secured a spot in the knockout round yet with one group match remaining. Both the Americans and the Dutch sit atop the Group E standings with a win and a draw, but the U.S. has the edge for the lead with more goals scored.
The United States plays Portugal in its group finale on Tuesday in Auckland, while the Netherlands plays Vietnam the same day in Dunedin.
The game was a rematch of the 2019 Women’s World Cup final, a 2-0 win for the Americans in a game played in Lyon, France. It was the Americans’ second straight trophy in the tournament, and fourth overall.
Roord’s strike from atop the box went though Horan’s legs to put the Dutch ahead in the 17th minute and they held the lead going into halftime. It was just the sixth time the United States had trailed at the half in 52 World Cup matches, and first time since trailing Sweden at the break in the opening round in 2011.
Lavelle, who was hampered by a knee injury in the run-up to the World Cup, was subbed in for the United States at the half and immediately gave the team energy. Lavelle scored one of the goals in the World Cup final four years ago.
“I think the first half, we feel a little bit disappointed in how we played, but I think we fixed things right away, the pressure that we got on, and the amount of chances and opportunities that came from it,” Horan said. “Proud of the team and the response.”
The sky was sunny but temperatures were in the 50s in New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington, and there was a stiff breeze for the match. The crowd was announced at 27,312.
“It was a difficult match. Even though it didn’t finish the way we wanted it to finish, I thought it was a very good match for our team, especially for a group of young players. They grew throughout the game individually, but also as a team we grew throughout,” said U.S. Coach Vlatko Andonovski. Fourteen of the players on the U.S. roster are making their World Cup debuts.
The Americans, vying for a record third consecutive World Cup title , defeated Vietnam 3-0 in their tournament opener. Sophia Smith scored a pair of goals and Horan added the other.
Andonovski used the same lineup for the Dutch that he used against Vietnam. He’s turned to Julie Ertz, normally a midfielder, to play at center back in the absence of veteran Becky Sauerbrunn, who injured her foot and was not able to play in the World Cup.
Megan Rapinoe, the American star who came in as a substitute in the opening game against Vietnam for her 200th appearance with the team, was not used in Thursday’s match. Rapinoe has announced that this is her final World Cup and she will retire at the end of the season.
The Dutch were without forward Lineth Beerensteyn, who was hurt early in her team’s 1-0 victory over Portugal to open the tournament. Katja Snoeijs replaced her in the starting lineup against the United States.
The Dutch were also missing leading scorer Vivianne Miedema, who ruptured her ACL while playing for Arsenal in December. She has 95 career goals for the Dutch.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with the team at their hotel on the eve of the match and was at the game. Blinken was in Wellington for a formal bilateral meeting with New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta, and he will also meet with Prime Minister Chris Hipkins.
The top finisher in the group opens the knockout round in Sydney against the second-place finisher in Group G, which includes Sweden, South Africa, Italy and Argentina.
The second-place finisher heads to Melbourne against the top Group G team.
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