FIFA Women's World Cup
World Cup NOW: How can Portugal affect USA's Group E path?
FIFA Women's World Cup

World Cup NOW: How can Portugal affect USA's Group E path?

Updated Jul. 27, 2023 8:49 a.m. ET

Portugal eliminated fellow debutant Vietnam on Thursday and kept its hopes of advancing to the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup knockout round alive.

In its first Women's World Cup win, A Seleção das Quinas received goals from Telma Encarnacão and Kika Nazareth and were able to keep the Vietnam squad scoreless. 

The next obstacle for Team Portugal will be the United States on Tuesday. As the U.S. looks to win Group E, the "World Cup NOW" crew of Jimmy Conrad, Heather O'Reilly, Melissa Ortiz and Karina LeBlanc discussed how Portugal's performance against Vietnam, and in general, could affect the team's plans.

'World Cup NOW' crew dissects Group E after Portugal's win over Vietnam


Ortiz: "I think they walk away from this game really content with their performance. They were very creative. I loved their build-up play. They utilized the wings a lot. They had some great services into the box. So, I think what we saw from them was a lot of confidence going into this Vietnamese side, but also, just freedom, creativity and flair [that] I think they wanted to show in the last game. So, this was the perfect opportunity to do so, and then going into the third game as well."

O'Reilly: "Again, similar to the game against Netherlands, the midfield of Portugal is quite good. They operate the ball well in there. Kika Nazareth, up top, 20-year-old, plays for Benfica — she is the real deal. She scored tonight. She's going to be a dangerous player for them. But, really, I just think that their possession is quite good. Their one-in-two touch play. They understand when to pick their times to spring their attacking players, and when to just settle on the tempo. They completely managed the match tonight."

Portugal vs. Vietnam highlights

LeBlanc: "Naeher's going to have to be sharp … [Portugal] put on a strong enough performance where I think the U.S. have to score some goals. It's going to be about just getting them past, obviously Portugal, but I think it'll be a beautiful challenge. But, it's going to come down to the grit. Portugal's going to want to have some success in that game."

Conrad: "Well, once these goals went in for Portugal, I thought. ‘Oh, wow, this is going to be 4-, 5-, 6-0,' but somehow Vietnam just hangs around. We couldn't extend our lead over three goals. They got it to two and hung in there. I'm kind of, quietly hoping, that Vietnam puts out their best defensive performance against the Netherlands so that we can go through on goal difference, and be the No. 1 team."


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