Sunday 16 June 2019, 14:09

Endler excels as USA, Sweden and Japan advance

Jessica McDonald of the USA shakes hands with Claudia Endler of Chile.
  • Five-star Sweden seal their spot by beating Thailand

  • Victory over Endler-inspired Chile takes USA through

  • Reaction and more: #USACHI & #SWETHA Live Blogs

All 24 teams at France 2019 have now played twice and, already, the last-16 jigsaw has nine pieces ready to be slotted in. Group F rivals Sweden and USA became the latest to qualify with second successive victories, and the latter's win over Chile also guaranteed Japan's place regardless of how they fare against England on Wednesday. This heavyweight trio join the Lionesses, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Canada in qualifying with a game to spare.

But USA and Sweden's underdog opponents did not go down without a fight. Chile battled bravely, with goalkeeper Christiane Endler truly outstanding, and few goals will be cheered by neutrals with the same gusto that greeted Kanjana Sung-Ngoen's late consolation for Thailand.

Sweden 5-1 Thailand

Team Reporter analysis

Alexandra Jonson (SWE) Sweden did what was expected of them, winning the match and securing qualification to the next round. The outcome was never in any doubt, and they lived up to the promise of using their physical advantage over the Thais. Peter Gerhardsson’s side could possibly have scored more goals, but winning was always the main focus – not racking up a big scoreline. Taking such an early lead also gave them the possibility to bring down the tempo and save some energy for upcoming matches. Gerhardsson making early substitutions also showed that he is already thinking about the next match against USA.

Piyapat Saropala (THA) Thailand were more resolute today and performed better in the second half in particular. All the same, they still struggled to match up to a team whose players are much taller, and conceded another two headed goals. On the plus side, the team’s captain Kanjana Sung-Ngoen really did her job well to put pressure on the Swedish centre-halves, showcasing her speed and hard-working attitude. It was a moment to savour when she was rewarded with her first-ever goal in the Women's World Cup.

USA 3-0 Chile

Erin Fish (USA) ​The US squad sealed their place in the last 16 with another brilliant performance. Despite most of their regular starters not even entering the pitch, the squad still got the job done thanks to the depth of talent on their bench. Set-pieces were major weapons for the US, with two of their goals resulting from corners. The holders will now look to finish the job in Group F when they face Sweden on 20 June to decide who tops the section.

Cecilia Lagos (CHI) This was a painful defeat for Chile. They wanted to show some progress from the two friendly defeats they suffered against USA last year, although they were always aware of the astronomical gap that remains between the teams. Chile gave everything and played well at times, but the US - even with seven changes to their starting XI - were simply too strong. Christiane Endler, though, keeps showing why she’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world and, for many, the best at this tournament. If it hadn't been for her, the scoreline would have read a lot worse for Chile.

Next up

17 June

China PR-Spain, Group B, Le Havre, 18:00 South Africa-Germany, Group B, Montpellier, 18:00 Nigeria-France, Group A, Rennes, 21:00 Korea Republic-Norway, Group A, Reims, 21:00

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