FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. Group B Wednesday 26 July | Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington USA v Netherlands

The match

The USA and the Netherlands meet in their second Group E match at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ in a repeat of the France 2019 final.

On that occasion, the USA won 2-0 following goals from Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle and they started their 2023 campaign with a 3-0 success over Vietnam. The Netherlands also opened with a win as Stefanie van der Gragt’s early goal edged out Women’s World Cup debutantes Portugal 1-0. It seems likely that the winners of this game will finish top of the group.



Team news

USA coach Vlatko Andonovski has no injury concerns for this game and so must decide whether to change his starting line-up. Lavelle is pushing for a start after appearing as a substitute against Vietnam following her return from injury. Netherlands coach Andries Jonker is likely to be forced into at least one change from the team which started against Portugal after Lineth Beerensteyn suffered an injury. Beerensteyn only has a very slim chance of being fit to face the USA.


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Players to watch

Sophia Smith The 22-year-old enjoyed a dream Women’s World Cup debut when scoring twice and creating the other goal in the USA’s opening 3-0 win over Vietnam. Smith showcased her credentials as a Golden Boot contender in that game but it was her all-round performance which demonstrated she has the potential to be one of the stars of the tournament and saw her display heralded by a batch of her USA team-mates.

Esmee Brugts Like Smith, Brugts has the potential to be a stand-out player at the tournament and the versatile youngster will turn 20 the day after the game against the USA. It was Brugts’ goal against Iceland which sent the Netherlands to Australia & New Zealand 2023 and she started the opening win over Portugal. Though Brugts has been used in a more defensive-minded role by Jonkers, her ability to create danger and score goals when going forward makes her a potent asset for her national team..


Facts and figures

  • The USA are currently unbeaten in a record 18 matches at the finals (excluding penalty shootouts).

  • The USA became the first team to feature in 50 Women’s World Cup matches when they faced the Netherlands in the final at France 2019.

  • The Netherlands have progressed through to the knockout phase on each of their two previous appearances at the finals.

  • The Netherlands’ appearance in the final four years ago saw them become the fourth European nation to reach a Women’s World Cup final.


“This is going to be an incredibly difficult match-up, very challenging. We watched the Netherlands the other night, and they have a lot of the same players as we played them in the World Cup four years ago. We know that we have to be at our best, and we’re doing everything we can at the training field, in the meetings, watching video, doing everything we can. But this is going to be a very big match-up.” Alex Morgan, USA “USA is a top country and has many good players, and those players have won a lot of different awards and achieved a lot of success during their careers. For me, that will be the biggest game of my life. So I am enthusiastic about the ability to play them. It’s better to play them earlier and see where we stand. We will have to go all out to win that match.” Esmee Brugts, Netherlands


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