The United States Women’s National Team is gearing up for the knockout stages of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup!
The Americans won Group D with 7 points to advance to the Round of 16, where they will face Colombia. That game will take place Monday, June 22 at 8 p.m.READ MORE: Car Explosion In North Huntingdon Considered 'Intentional'
Should USA win, they would face the winner of the China-Cameroon match.
USA won the “group of death” with victories over Australia (3-1) and Nigeria (1-0) and a draw against Sweden (0-0).
Their opening three games of the tournament generated plenty of excitement and memorable moments.
Here’s a look at USA’s top five moments from the group stage of the tournament.
Hope Solo’s Stellar Goalkeeping
The Americans came out a little slow against Australia in their first game of the tournament.
Fortunately for them, Hope Solo was sharp.
Solo made a couple of spectacular diving saves in the opening 15 minutes.
Australia’s early play probably deserved a goal and they were finally rewarded with one by Lisa De Vanna in the 27th minute.
However, Solo slammed the door the rest of the way and hasn’t allowed another goal in the tournament.
Klingenberg Header Off The Line Vs. Sweden
Without some late-game heroics from Gibsonia’s Meghan Klingenberg, the tournament could look very differently for USA.
In their second game of the tournament, the United States took on former manager Pia Sundhage and Sweden.
Both of the teams are ranked in the top five in the world, so you knew it was going to be a tight game.
In the 77th minute, Klingenberg kept the game scoreless with a perfectly timed header. Sweden’s corner kick bounced around inside the box and was blasted on goal. Solo never had a chance at it, but that’s why you have defenders to rely on.
Klingenberg was in perfect position and headed the sure goal off the crossbar and out of danger.
The save preserved a point for USA and made Sweden’s road to the Round of 16 that much more difficult.
Abby Wambach’s Goal Vs. NigeriaREAD MORE: One Person Shot And Killed At Graduation Party In Washington County
Abby Wambach is playing in her final World Cup and picked a good time to notch her first goal of the tournament.
Heading into their final group stage game against Nigeria, the United States needed a win to lock up the group.
The Americans dominated play early on, but could not find the back of the net.
With seconds remaining in the first half, Wambach got a free look at a corner kick from Megan Rapinoe and coolly tucked it home.
It would prove to be the game’s only goal and secured what should be an easier path to the semifinals.
Rapinoe’s Double In Opener
The United States didn’t have a lot of pressure at the start of the game against Australia, but a fortunate bounce breathed life into the team.
Rapinoe’s shot deflected off a defender Laura Alleway and found its way into the net in the 12th minute.
The goal settled the Americans’ early nerves and gave them some confidence.
While Australia would level the game, Christen Press scored the eventual game-winner in the 61st minute.
Then, a great individual effort from Rapinoe in the 78th minute sealed the three points for USA.
Alex Morgan’s Increased Play
Alex Morgan is one of the most dangerous players in the world and the Americans are lucky to have her.
However, Morgan entered the World Cup nursing a bone bruise in her left knee. She hadn’t even started a game for more than two months, but that changed against Nigeria.
Morgan was flying around the pitch and had several glorious scoring chances, but just was not able to finish.
Sure, she’s a little rusty and that’s to be expected. But, the simple fact is Morgan being in the lineup is vital to USA’s chances of winning the World Cup.
Morgan has seen an increase in minutes in all three games and was very good in the 65 minutes she saw against Nigeria.
If she keeps getting chances, you can bet that it’s only a matter of time until she scores.MORE NEWS: Police: One Dead After Reported Shooting On Frankstown Avenue