US defeats Sweden to top Group F of Women's Football World Cup

U.S. forward Mallory Pugh with Coach Jill Ellis

U.S. forward Mallory Pugh with Coach Jill Ellis

The 2-0 victory means that the United States progresses as the leader in Group F, but both Sweden and the Americans were already assured of a place in the knockout round as they entered the match with six points each.

Even though Sweden doesn't have the offensive firepower like the United States, they have scored the second most goals so far in the Women's World Cup. Kosovare Asllani leads team Sweden with a pair of goals so far in the group stage and is always risky with the ball on her foot. The clearance attempt fell to Tobin Heath on the right side of the box who was open and able to put the U.S. up 2-0. Lloyd, who played every minute of the 2015 World Cup and scored three goals in a 5-2 victory over Japan in the title match, came in off the bench to start the second half.

Naeher hasn't had to stop many shots so far in this tournament but has kept both shots against her out of the back of the net.

Both Sweden and the US enter the final match of the group stage with six points, after they each defeated Thailand and Chile.

Told of Gerhardsson's comments, Ellis said with a grin, "After the game, that might be a fair comment". It found its way to Lindsey Horan who made no mistake getting into the net quickly for the first goal of the game.

"We needed this game against a challenging opponent before we left the group", coach Jill Ellis said. But the Americans are also well aware that the degree of difficulty has been low so far, and it's about to go sky high very soon.

United States' defender Kelley O'Hara celebrates after her team's second goal during Thursday's match. I think it's just the evolution of the game. When we looked at the plan for the match and how to go about it we didn't think in advance it was important to be first or second.

Late in the first half, however, forward Alex Morgan, suffered an injury off a foul and appeared to be in some level of pain for the rest of regulation play. She still has to defend on occasion, though, and she won a few one-on-one battles on Thursday that had the American Outlaws chanting her name in the stands. Ertz is probably the U.S.'s most indispensable player, but Horan filled in without much dropoff against a less-than-full-strength Sweden.

Mewis said, "We had practiced that a lot, overloading certain areas and targeting certain areas". Four players were given their World Cup debuts for a formidable baptism on the big stage. Although Lloyd was a half-step offside, play continued without her direct involvement.

The video assistant referee recommended a review to determine whether Lloyd's positioning should nullify the goal.

It was later determined that the goal was officially scored as an own goal by Sweden's defender Jonna Andersson.

Predators trade Subban to Devils
UConn Plans to Join Big East, Leave American Athletic Conference