There was no victor crowned in the rematch of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup final between the United States and the Netherlands at Wellington Regional Stadium on Wednesday, but the 1-1 draw did set the stage for a dramatic last day of play in Group E.
Then, Nigeria created some drama of its own against co-hosts Australia.
Here’s a review of everything that happened in Day 8 of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and a look-ahead at what’s to come in Day 9:
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
— Jill Roord opened the scoring for the Netherlands in the 17th minute of Wednesday’s match. The Netherlands are unbeaten (14W-2D-0L) in all matches Roord has scored in.
Read more: USA vs. Netherlands highlights: USWNT, Dutch play to 1-1 draw
— Lindsey Horan responded with a goal for the U.S. in the 62nd minute. Horan has five goal contributions (a goal or an assist) in the six games she has started at the Women’s World Cup.
Read more: Lindsey Horan got mad, then she got even with goal that saved USWNT
United States vs. Netherlands highlights
— Horan’s scored her goal almost immediately after being tackled hard by Netherlands midfielder — and her Lyon teammate — Danielle van de Donk. Horan’s reaction to the tackle could have gotten her sent off had it escalated, but U.S. defender Julie Ertz served as her voice of reason on the field. “She was like, ‘Please don’t get another yellow card. Just score this goal to shut everyone up,'” Horan said. “And that’s what happened.”
Read more: Lindsey Horan sets a fiery example for young USWNT
— The USWNT would have been happy with a statement win Wednesday, but the team also sees the value in having to come from behind to salvage a point. “It’s really about your momentum and coming together as a team in those moments of adversity,” Ertz said. “When you face that early on, I think that gives you confidence further along in the tournament.”
Read more: USWNT ‘learned a few lessons’ from clawing back against the Netherlands
“I got a little pissed at her” — Lindsey Horan breaks down her goal
— With four points in two games, the USWNT is in a good position to advance to the round of 16 — however, the Americans haven’t advanced yet. Here’s a full breakdown of what they need to do in the next match to secure their place in knockout stage.
Read more: USA-Netherlands takeaways: USWNT finds resolve in second half to force a draw
— Telma Encarnação scored Portugal’s first-ever goal at the Women’s World Cup, which ultimately led to its first-ever win at the tournament. Portugal beat Vietnam, 2-0, making it the first Women’s World Cup debutant at this year’s tournament to reach the two-goal mark.
— Vietnam can no longer qualify for the knockout stage with the latest results in Group E.
Read more: Portugal vs. Vietnam highlights: Portugal wins 2-0 to eliminate Vietnam
Portugal vs. Vietnam highlights
— Nigeria came back from down 1-0 to upset Australia 3-2 in a thrilling match. Prior to Thursday, Nigeria had never won a women’s World Cup match it had conceded first in, going 0W-3D-18L.
— Uchenna Kanu scored Nigeria’s first goal of the Women’s World Cup on its second shot on target of the tournament, according to FIFA.
— Asisat Oshoala became the first African player to score at three Women’s World Cups (2015, 2019, 2023).
Read more: World Cup shocker: Nigeria stuns host Australia, 3-2
Australia vs. Nigeria highlights
RECAPPING THE DAY
Assist of the Day: A clinical build up
The best pass in this play really belongs to Andreia Jacinto, whose perfectly-timed through ball gave Lucia Alves plenty of running room on the wing, but Alves’ cross in toward the box was also on time and on target.
All that was left for Telma Encarnação to do was finish, and she did so with authority.
Portugal’s Telma Encarnacao opens scoring against Vietnam
Save of the Day: Vietnam’s best player?
Though it came in an eliminating loss, Vietnam goalkeeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh had another outstanding day in goal, saving seven shots inside the box, including this one she had to run out for. She was arguably Vietnam’s best player in both matches.
Goal of the Day: The Great Horan
Who else could it be? Lindsey Horan’s powerful header not only earned the U.S. a crucial point against a strong Netherlands side, but it put the team in a position to control its own destiny going into the final day of group play.
Lindsey Horan pulls the USA even
Must-See Moment: Fair play
Though Lindsey Horan and Danielle van de Donk were at each other’s throats during the match, they shared a nice moment after it. After all, they do have to see each other on the training ground when the European season restarts in the fall.
FOX Sports research numbers to know
86 — Minutes Argentina held Italy scoreless before Cristiana Girelli’s header handed Argentina its 1-0 opening loss. Argentina will be eliminated with a loss and a Sweden win/draw on Saturday.
Group G: Argentina vs. South Africa (coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET, with kickoff at 8 p.m. on FS1)
2,500 — Miles (approximately) from Perth to Sydney. Denmark played its opener in Perth and now travels west across Australia to play its second game. For England, it’s a much shorter journey: roughly 500 miles south from Brisbane.
Group D: England vs. Denmark (coverage begins at 4 a.m. ET, with kick off at 4:30 a.m. on FS1)
58 — Touches by 19-year-old sensation Melchie Durmonay in Haiti’s opening game against England. “Corventina” had 11 more touches than any of her teammates. Coming off a stellar season with Stade Reims (11 goals and six assists in 18 games), Durmonay is bound for French powerhouse Lyon after the Women’s World Cup. If she gets a goal, lookout for a backflip celebration.
Group D: China vs. Haiti (coverage beings at 6:30 a.m. ET, with kickoff at 7 a.m. on FS1)
FIFA WORLD CUP WOMEN trending
Get more from FIFA Women’s World Cup Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more