After thrashing Thailand in their opening match of the tournament, the United States can confirm their place in the knockout rounds of the 2019 Women’s World Cup with victory over Chile at the Parc des Princes in Paris on Sunday (12:00pm ET, live on Fox).
The competition holders wasted no time in making their mark on the 2019 edition by racking up a World Cup record 13-0 win over Thailand on Tuesday. The disparity in resources and talent between the two sides was made painfully clear as the US scored goal after goal. We did advise a bet on USWNT -5 goals with the American betting sites and that wager was won after 54 minutes, when the sixth goal rocketed in.
At half-time, the score was just 3-0 thanks to goals from Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle and Lindsey Horan. It was in the second half that the United States really piled it on. Morgan scored four more times, Lavelle got one more, Sam Mewis got two, and Megan Rapinoe, Mallory Pugh and Carli Lloyd also scored as the US showed no mercy to their opponents.
Indeed, the degree to which the team seemed to delight in each and every goal has seen them criticised in some quarters. Their pursuit for the widest winning margin made sense given their battle with Sweden to top the group. It is a contest in which goal difference may prove crucial. It is probably fair to question whether it was really necessary to celebrate quite so much as each of those last few goals went in.
Morgan, at least, had reason to celebrate the last of her five goals, as it saw her equal the record for the most goals scored by one player in a World Cup match. It also provided her with a welcome confidence boost following a seven-match scoreless streak in club and national team play coming into the tournament.
Speaking afterwards, coach Jill Ellis suggested the result had provided a similar boost to the rest of the squad. “When you go into a World Cup you can talk about tactics and all of that, but it’s about mentality, it’s also about confidence,” she said. “Getting off on the right foot is important.”
In truth, aside from the fact the team clearly mean business this summer, it was difficult to draw too many conclusions from a win over such overmatched opponents. Thailand mustered just two shots, both from comfortably outside the area, to the 40, the majority of them from the centre of the penalty area, that the US got off. None of the little kinks and weaknesses that have been evident during this cycle were tested.
Chile are likely to provide slightly stiffer opposition, but it is still a match from which the US should be expected to emerge as comfortable victors. When the two teams met in a pair of friendlies last September, it was they who triumphed both times, 3-0 then 4-0. It would have been worse for Chile without some excellent goalkeeping from Christiane Endler.
The Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper and Chilean captain was again in top form on Tuesday, making a couple of crucial interventions to help her side remain level with Sweden until the final eight minutes of their group-stage opener. Eventually, though, Sweden’s quality shone through, and Chile fell to a 0-2 defeat in their first ever match in the Women’s World Cup.
Chile will still have hopes of perhaps sneaking into the knockout stages as one of the four best third-placed sides if they can avoid a heavy defeat on Sunday and then thrash Thailand in their final match. Just qualifying for the tournament was achievement enough and one that has led to a number of their players earning moves to the professional league in Spain.
There are a few players that the US should look out for, including Francisca Lara and forward Yanara Aedo, their top scorer at last year’s Copa America and a former player for the reserve team of NWSL side Washington Spirit. The fact that they have lost to nil in each of their last four and six of their last seven matches against top-10 ranked teams suggests that regularly getting the ball that far upfield will be a struggle.
Our Betting Preview’s USWNT vs Chile Women Predictions & Picks Verdict
USWNT are the clear favorites to secure another three points on Sunday and so book their place in the last 16. Even if Thailand somehow manage to defeat Sweden in the earlier match, there is very little possibility of either of those two, certainly not both, overtaking the US on goal difference during the final round of matches.
While another avalanche of goals is too much to expect, USA Women should still beat Chile by a healthy margin and so this is our betting prediction for this game:
- Bet on United States -4.5 goals on the spread @ -120 with Bovada Sportsbook.