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What USWNT-Portugal means after Americans draw with Netherlands

Here’s what USA needs to do to advance to the round of 16.

USA Women v Holland Women -World Cup Women
Alex Morgan of USA Women during the World Cup Women match between USA Women v Holland Women at the Wellington Regional Stadium on July 27, 2023 in wellington New Zealand.
Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images

July 27 update: Here’s a look at the updated Group E standings after Portugal’s 2-0 win over Vietnam.

USA, 1-1-0, +3 GD, 4 points
Netherlands, 1-1-0, +1 GD, 4 points
Portugal, 1-0-1, +1 GD, 3 points
Vietnam, 0-0-2, -5 GD, 0 points

A win or draw against Portugal would send the Americans into the round of 16. A loss to Portugal would mean USA needs Vietnam to defeat Netherlands and hope it maintains a superior goal differential over the Dutch.

The United States women’s national team managed to get a 1-1 draw against Netherlands in a rematch of the 2019 World Cup final, meaning the Americans maintain their position at the top of Group E. However, the result also means USA still has work to do in the final group stage match against Portugal. Here’s a look at the current standings in Group E.

USA, 1-1-0, +3 GD, 4 points
Netherlands, 1-1-0, +1 GD, 4 points
Portugal, 0-0-1, -1 GD, 0 points
Vietnam, 0-0-1, -3 GD, 0 points

Portugal and Vietnam will play Thursday morning. If we assume Portugal, a -800 favorite on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, the European side will have 3 points heading into the final match.

If the United States wins the final game, it doesn’t matter what anyone else does. The Americans would advance to the knockout stage and likely top the group unless Netherlands absolutely crushes Vietnam in the final match and goes ahead on goal differential.

If the United States were to draw against Portugal, it would advance to the knockout round but likely finish behind Netherlands assuming the Dutch beat Vietnam. If the Americans lose to Portugal, they would need Vietnam to defeat Netherlands to be able to qualify for the group stage.

If Portugal were to draw or lose against Vietnam, the scenarios don’t change much. A win or draw would still send the United States into the knockout stage. A loss to Portugal means USA still needs help from Vietnam but it would have to be specific help. In this scenario, goal differential would be the tiebreaker among the four teams. For now, the Americans have an advantage in that area.