The reigning world champions’ bid to win a first Olympic gold medal in nine years got off to a disastrous start as they were thrashed 3-0 by Sweden on Wednesday, snapping a 44-game unbeaten streak.
However, they bounced back convincingly on Saturday, putting six goals past New Zealand and edging ahead of Australia on goal difference in second place in Group G.
With Sweden already qualified after winning both its opening games, a draw in Kashima on Tuesday will be enough for the USWNT to clinch the second spot in the group and the quarterfinals berth that comes with it.
Lose to Australia, however, and the Americans’ destiny will no longer be in their hands and they would have to rely on results elsewhere going their way if they are to progress as one of the two top-ranked third teams.
The 6-1 win against New Zealand was an encouraging response, but USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski is well aware the job for his team is only half done.
“We came with the mindset to win, with the mindset to score goals and we accomplished that but as soon as that [the win against New Zealand] happened we didn’t have time—or want—to celebrate because we wanted to focus on the next game and that has been our main focus since the game ended,” he told ESPN.
“In terms of the mentality, the players have done an incredible job reevaluating the mentality. They’ve done an incredible job getting back to our roots, to who we are. Obviously myself, I do just a little bit of that to remind them of what it is it can look like if we’re not prepared, if we’re not ready mentally for the game.”
Australia, who is coached by former USWNT assistant coach Tony Gustavsson, will not be an easy challenge for the U.S. The Matildas beat New Zealand 2-1 in their opening game and led Sweden 2-1 in the second half, before eventually losing 4-2.
Captain Samantha Kerr has been leading from the front, following up her goal against New Zealand with a brace against Sweden.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of USWNT’s final game of the group stages.
When is USWNT vs. Australia?
The USWNT faces Australia at 5 p.m. local time (4 a.m. ET, 2 a.m. PT) on Tuesday, July 27.
Where is USWNT vs. Australia?
The USWNT concludes its Group G duties at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium in Kashima, approximately 60 miles northwest of Tokyo.
The home stadium of J League’s powerhouse Kashima Antlers, the venue hosted three games in the 2002 FIFA World Cup and will stage one of the quarterfinals and one of the semifinals in the 2020 Olympics.
How to watch USWNT vs. Australia on TV and online
The game will be broadcast live on USA Network, while Telemundo will carry the game with Spanish commentary.
A live stream of the game will be available via NBCOlympics.com, TelemundoDeportes.com, the NBC Sports app and the Telemundo Deportes app as well as via streaming service fuboTV.
USWNT vs. Australia odds
The USWNT is a 1-4 favorite with DraftKings, while Australia is a 17-2 outsider and the draw is at 11-2. The “over” on a combined 2.5 goals in the game is at 3-10, while the “under” is at 12-5 and USWNT to win with over than 2.5 goals scored in the game is at 1-2.