USWNT heroes Neihar and Williams seize the opportunity to face the Netherlands in the Olympic quarterfinals – Soccer Sports

U.S. women are in the semifinals Tokyo Olympics After defeating the Netherlands in a thrilling pre- and post-incident, I finally went to a penalty shootout.

– report: USWNT reaches Olympic semifinal with shootout victory
-Ravel: Neihar has saved us many times

Whether the victory feels like the United States is against the odds may depend on whether they have paid more attention to their world ranking number one on the tournament’s group stage or their poor performance. In any case, the Netherlands and tournament top scorer Vivian Miedema will return, and the United States will face Canada on Monday (4 am) to advance to the finals.

The important points are as follows.

Neiha is a hero

Without goalkeeper Alyssa Naehar, the USWNT would not have gone to the final four. Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament.. Limit.

The 33-year-old stepped up during regulation in the 81st minute, denying that Lieke Martens had an inadequate penalty, but the PK match was where Neihar really shined. She fired a shot from the deadly Midema on her first kick, quickly giving the USWNT an edge, and then she saved the Dutch fourth kick from defender Anique Nawen to win.

For Neihar, this could go down as a signature game for her tenure at the USWNT. The game finally removed the suspicion that she had gained USWNT status as a starter. After all, Neihar has often played behind Hope Solo and Briana Scurry. They are the two USWNT goalkeepers who came before her, each of whom has the best goalkeeper conversation ever.

Part of the reason experts and fans are hesitant to accept Neihar as the heir to that position may be due to the way she first got a job. Solo is famous for Sweden playing like a “coward bunch” at the 2016 Olympics, and after other off-field issues, US football has plenty of room to kick Solo out of the team. I did. Later, Jill Ellis quickly anointed Neihar on her behalf, even though Neihar had only seven caps at the time.

Naeher was also a different goalkeeper than his predecessor and didn’t fit the typical USWNT goalkeeper a few years ago. She doesn’t scream much in the open, and she has a more modest and quiet personality in the open. But Neihar also doesn’t have to be like anyone else, projecting quiet, cool self-confidence and calm, saving penalty kicks at both the World Cup and the Olympics to help the United States move forward. Also shows.

“It was hard to penalize while playing, but giving two points in the shootout made it a lot easier,” said Megan Rapinoe. “Especially when they go first. It removes the pressure from the team, and she’s just huge. She’s not a lot of words especially for you, but she’s absolutely huge for us. . “

USWNT looked like USWNT again

If there was a defect across the group stage, it was intangible and could not be measured on the statistics sheet. USWNT didn’t look like itself. The players lacked confidence and played unstable and scary soccer. Even if it was far from the technical masterclass from Americans, it wasn’t on Friday.

It was clear from the whistle at the beginning. The Americans quickly pushed the ball to win, making the tone that it wouldn’t be easy for the Netherlands. They sometimes seem tired and struggling to contain the threat of various Dutch attacks, but they have returned again and again. Alex Morgan then told reporters that he was confident that the USWNT would have won without a penalty kick if the match lasted only five minutes longer.

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It may be a little worrisome that the USWNT whistled offside with four separate goals with the Netherlands. And he made nine scheduled goals that were recalled for Americans at this Olympics. It may still indicate to the team something is wrong, but it probably shows relentlessness and tenacity. Be careful when they start getting the right timing.

Morgan said the Olympics would really start when the knockout stage began. Rapinoe seems to share that feeling on Friday, shaping the USWNT bounce as an inevitable one.

“Oh, you guys aren’t surprised, come on,” Rapinoe told reporters, laughing. “This is us. This is the knockout round.”

Rapinoe added: “This team never really quits, even when we’re playing like s.”

Asked if USWNT’s performance against the Netherlands sent the message, Rose Label replied, “We are the only ones who think we are sending the message.”

Andnovsky’s game management raises questions after Williams’ breakout

US coach Vratko Andnovsky has made a big bet on the combination of Carli Lloyd and Lynn Williams. The most experienced forwards and the least experienced forwards on the roster, respectively. This seems to be due to the specifications. What Lloyd lacks is speed, which Williams on the side can make up for. Lloyd is an effective presser, but he’s not good at hiding behind the backline and stretching or defensively tracking.

Williams eventually became the driving force behind USWNT’s attack on the Netherlands, chasing the ball and repeatedly providing good service. So it was appropriate for her to play a role in both USWNT goals. First, in the 28th minute, she cut around the defender and sent a cross to the box that Sam Mewis only had to redirect with her head. Less than two minutes later, Williams volleyed a loose ball behind the net.

Still, her defensive power is just as important, with Andnovsky taking Williams out in the 57th minute and putting her on Christen Press in the early stages of immersing himself in a possible overtime shift. When I replaced it, it was terribly intriguing. When Williams left the field, she was the best USWNT player on the front line. Seven minutes later, Andnovsky took off Tobin Heath, who was also in trouble with the Dutch Defense, for Rapinoe.

Before the match reached 90 minutes, both the press and Rapinoe seemed exhausted and could not help the press, chase and defense, making the Netherlands increasingly dangerous. As the match went into overtime, their feet became heavier as the Netherlands beat the Americans 21-16.

Dutch manager Sarina Wiegman then told Dutch media that the United States couldn’t keep up.

“Before the match, the United States was said to be out of shape, but that was the case,” she said. “They had problems with our ball circulation. It’s really, really disappointing that we didn’t win.”

When preparing for the lineup and replacement, Andnovsky said, “I had to think at least a little about my next opponent, whether I liked it or not. I had to think about penalty shootouts. I had to think about the match.-Up in the field, or compare how to start and end the game. “

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He didn’t specifically mention why he was replaced, but Andnovsky said: When they started the game, they didn’t know if they could play for 120 minutes. “

Williams should play a big role in the semi-finals with Canada based on Friday’s performance. For the player who first came to Japan as an alternative before the rule change put her on the full roster, she certainly is taking full advantage of her chances.

Anxiety trends along the back line

Andnovsky seems to have made one of his biggest moves at this Olympics against Australia when he chose not to start the center-back Abby Dahlkemper. U.S. coaches said it was part of a rotation plan, but Dar Kemper usually said that even if the lineup was heavily rotated between games, as it was at the 2019 World Cup. A player who is expected to start every match.

It may have been a chance for Dar Kemper to reorganize.

She is usually a consistent picture of an American, a solid defender, and a dual threat of being a good long-distance distributor of the ball. However, she looked erratic in the first two USWNT group-play games, unable to track the runners in the box, and deserved some of the responsibilities of the goals granted to both Sweden and New Zealand, with the Netherlands. I opposed the fight. It was Dahlkemper who failed the first goal to reach Miedema, the most clinical scorer in the entire Olympic tournament.

Although they are in the semi-finals, the USWNT backline leaves so many gaps that there needs to be growing concern that one of the USWNT’s reliable centerbacks is repeatedly involved.

– Soccer Sports

USWNT heroes Neihar and Williams seize the opportunity to face the Netherlands in the Olympic quarterfinals USWNT heroes Neihar and Williams seize the opportunity to face the Netherlands in the Olympic quarterfinals

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