A trio of offensive-minded substitutions weren’t enough to get the United States women’s national soccer team the goal it needed to secure a spot in the knockout round of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
With the U.S. offense looking for some momentum, coach Jillian Ellis inserted forwards Amy Rodriguez (58th minute), Abby Wambach (68th minute) and Alex Morgan (78th minute), but the three were unable to provide much of an extra push.
So the U.S. had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Sweden, leaving a looming match with Nigeria to determine their future in the tournament.
The U.S. back line was certainly much stronger than it was in the opener, when goalkeeper Hope Solo was needed to make several big stops against Australia in what became a 3-1 win for the States.
Sweden only got one shot on goal, and it took it three quarters of the game to make it happen — but it was nearly a backbreaker.
In the 76th minute, Ellen Rubensson sent a corner kick in that looked headed for an open net until U.S. defender Meghan Klingenberg managed to get just enough of a head on it to send the ball into the crossbar.
The Americans outshot their opponents 12-8, including 3-1 in shots on goal, taking slight advantages in corner kicks (9-8) and possession (51 percent) as well.
With four points after two games, the United States only needs to draw with Nigeria on Tuesday to secure a spot in the 16-team knockout stage, while a win in that game secures them the top seed in the group. Sweden, with two points, needs a win over Australia to move on.