TOKYO (Reuters) – The United States women’s soccer team were less than convincing in their goalless draw with Australia on Tuesday but did enough to reach the Olympic tournament knockout stage behind Group G winners Sweden who stayed perfect by beating New Zealand 2-0.
The U.S. side had responded to an opening round shock by the Swedes with a 6-1 thrashing of New Zealand but they struggled to unlock Australia’s defence at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium and finished with four points from three matches.
Australia can still qualify for the last-eight as one of the best third-placed teams in the competition but the Matildas will have to hope for favourable results in the other two groups.
Meanwhile, first-half goals by forwards Madelen Janogy and Anna Anvegard helped the unstoppable Swedes to a comfortable victory over New Zealand, who finished bottom of the group following three straight defeats.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)