As it happened: USWNT take Group of Death with win over Nigeria
The United States women's national team defeated Nigeria 1-0 to top the "Group of Death" after Sweden's disappointing 1-1 draw with Australia. Abby Wambach scored the only goal of the game in the 45' minute on a volley off a corner. Not a particularly great game by the Americans, so they will need to look back and improve if they hope to progress farther in this competition.
90' : Nothing really to report after the 80'. U.S. top the "Group of Death" after Sweden's draw with Australia. Decent showing for the Americans but they wll have to play much better if they hope to compete with some of the stronger teams in this tournament. Nigeria is eliminated with the 1-0 loss.
79' : Christie Rampone becomes the oldest player to play in the Women's World Cup at 39 -- she'll turn 40 this month -- as she enters the game for Tobin Heath.
74' : Looks like the subs are coming in for the USWMNT, Shannon Boxx is th first one on the field to replace Rapinoe. Solid game for Rapinoe, she may not have scored but her shots have been great this game.
70' : Nigeria starting to get more physical, with the fifth yellow card, which turns in to a red for Sarah Nnodim, being issued to the Nigerians. USWNT look content to possess the ball and try and let the game tick down. But it needs to take control with a woman advantage.
63' : Precious Dede comes up huge for Nigeria again, denying Morgan what would surely be a back-breaking goal. USWNT looks the more dangerous team as we edge past the two-thirds mark.
58' : Both teams have started off really well offensively. A strong free kick by Nigeria and solid runs by the USWNT stick out in my mind. Heath has been getting herself more involved this half as well.
Here's a look at the Wambach goal that has given the USWNT a 1-0 lead.
48' : We're back off and Morgan is looking to make her mark on this game. She nearly doubles the Americans' lead but the Nigerian 'keeper is able to bat it down and smother it before it rolls across the line.
Let's look at some tweets at the half.
45' : Wambach breaks the deadlock! Rapinoe sends in a beautiful cross and Wambach volley's it home. The goal breaks up what was a rather drab half for the USWNT. Team talk for both team's changed dramatically after that goal.
40' : While the USWNT offense begins to string some strong possessions together. Let's take a look at the disallowed goal by Johnston.
33' : Megan Rapinoe has been the best player for the USWNT so far. All of her shots have been from long distance but each has managed to test the Nigerian 'keeper.
31' : Nigeria looking to beat the Americans at their own game. Multiple over-the-top balls put a lot of pressure on the USWNT back line. Game is starting to slow down after a frenetic start by the Americans. Less attacking impetus as we edge closer to the half.
24' : USWNT get caught in possession and Julie Johnston gets outran by the Nigerian forward. Hope Solo gets a touch on it but a legitimate scoring chance for Nigeria.
17' : What a strike by Rapinoe! Nigerian 'keeper barely palms it away and across the endline. Corner amounts to a missed free-header by Wambach.
15' : Another solid attacking chance for the U.S. Heath finds herself in space after a cross and opts to pass. Wrong decision as the Nigerians are able to clear.
12' : Nigeria get a decent shot off, against the run of play, but Solo is able to smother it. It's been virtually all America so far, with long balls looking to be the special of the day.
8' : Julie Johnston appears to score and sends BC Place into a frenzy but it quickly turns to boos and mumbling as the referee calls her for offside. Wambach, who passed her the ball, was not but Johnston was. Good call.
2' : Americans kick off, and the long ball strategy is put to good use. Morgan almost gets on the end of a long ball but is clalled offside. USWNT definitely the aggresors early on.
1' : Let's get started! Morgan and Wambach upfront should be interesting. Let's see how it plays out.
Both teams making their way out, confronted by a packed BC Place. National anthems and then we will be on our way.
Here's a quick reminder of how the U.S. can win the group, brought to you by the American Outlaws:
About two and a half hours until game time. Let's check out wht the American fans and some officials have to say:
And, of course, the professional teams enjoy showing their love for the United States. Check out these tweets from the Detroit Red Wings and some other teams:
First, let's take a look at some tweets that fans have been posting prior to the game: