WATCH LIVE: Women’s World Cup round of 16 — USA vs. Colombia

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The time for all the trash talking, all the bulletin board material and all the reliving meetings past is over. It’s time for the US women’s national team to take on Colombia with a place in the quarterfinals of the 2015 Women’s World Cup on the line.

It’s do-or-die time for both of these sides, because when 90 (or 120) minutes are up, someone’s going home.

WATCH LIVE — USA vs. Colombia, 8 pm ET

The USWNT’s starting lineup is unchanged from their final group game against Nigeria. Alex Morgan starts her second straight game up top alongside Abby Wambach, while Christen Press remains on the bench for a second straight game after starting each of the first two group stage games.

When: Monday, 8:00 p.m. EDT
Where: Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
TV: NBC Universo, NBCDeportes.com
Team Records: USA 2-0-1 (1st, Group D), Colombia 1-1-1 (3rd, Group F)

LINEUPS

USA: Solo, Klingenberg, Sauerbrunn, Johnston, Krieger, Rapinoe, Lloyd, Holiday, Heath, Morgan, Wambach

Colombia: Perez, Velasquez, Clavijo, N. Arias, C. Arias, Montoya, Gaitan, Andrade, Rincon, Ospina, Vidal


 

EDMONTON, Alberta – For a team that has spent the past week discussing its desire to loosen up in the attack, getting a random dose of trash-talking from an underdog opponent might be just what the doctor ordered.

The United States enters Monday’s round-of-16 match Women’s World Cup match against Colombia feeling slightly confused by claims Colombia players make regarding the U.S. disrespecting them. Colombia forward Lady Andrade – best known for sucker-punching Abby Wambach at the 2012 Olympics – said the Americans “belittle” her team. Yoreli Rincon said the Colombians have more heart than United States players.

The Americans don’t know what to make of any of this.

“I’m a person that doesn’t focus on things that happened four years ago, three years ago,” Wambach said on Sunday. “If you’re still living in those moments, I think that that’s not the way I would want to live a life. I’ve moved past it, our team’s moved past it and we’re focused on getting a win [Monday] night.”

[KASSOUF: US women perplexed by Colombia’s trash-talking claims]

Wambach & Co. are expected by outsiders to win this game, which is maybe the source of Colombia’s misdirected feelings. Despite being ranked No. 28 in the world, Colombia is better than ever. Las Cafeteras didn’t just beat world No. 3 France by sitting in a scared, defensive shell and scoring a fluke goal; Colombia won that game 2-0 with a poised, controlled counter-attacking strategy that frustrated the French.

“They’re a good transition team,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said. “Slightly different in terms of how they transition, because it’s a ball in, it’s back and they are trying to pull your back line this way. The other teams are trying to get in as fast as they can.”

Ten of Colombia’s 23 players took part in the 2011 World Cup, Colombia’s first World Cup, and 12 of them took part in the 2012 London Olympics. They represent the core group that has come up through the Colombia youth system, playing in youth World Cups.

“The players are growing up not just in age, but in international experience and in tournaments,” Colombia coach Fabian Taborda said.

[KASSOUF: Colombia sees World Cup success as agent for change in country]

U.S. midfielder Megan Rapinoe recognizes the increased maturity level of Colombia’s play from their previous meetings.

“I think I see just a more complete team and a little bit more mature [team], in terms of a full 90 minutes of how to break teams down and how to keep teams out of the net,” she said.

Andrade was the protagonist in Colombia’s group-stage upset of France, progressing within the match from confident to even borderline arrogance on the ball. It’s an unpredictable style of play that the United States will have to deal with, not totally unlike the Americans’ last match against Nigeria.

“I think that they are a much more organized team, not only do their individual players, like Lady Andrade, play with the sole of their feet – very craft,” Wambach said. “It’s hard to defend against teams that sometimes, in my opinion, don’t even know what they are doing. They are kind of street ball soccer in certain ways. They have an organized chaos-ness to it that makes it really difficult to defend against.”

Ellis expects Colombia to sit in to some extent, while Rapinoe notes that her opponents like to defend in numbers.

“If you give them time and you get numbers around the ball, then eventually they are going to give it to us,” U.S. defender Meghan Klingenberg. “Because if they’re going to dance, then we are going to get as many numbers around the ball and make it so difficult for them to get out of those tight spaces.”

World Cup 2022 Group A: Qatar, Senegal, Netherlands, Ecuador, final table, fixtures, rankings

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Group A in the 2022 World Cup was intriguing, as hosts Qatar were dumped out, while Ecuador started well but faded as African champs Senegal finished second in the group and the Netherlands finished top.

[ MORE: Full schedule for 2022 World Cup ]

Even thought Senegal were missing main man Sadio Mane through injury, they rallied to win their final two group games including an intense finale against Ecuador.

The Netherlands were unbeaten throughout the group stage and took care of business with minimum fuss.

[ MORE: Ranking every World Cup team, 32-1 ]

Below is everything you need for 2022 World Cup Group A.


Group A schedule (all kick off times ET)

Recap/highlights: Qatar 0-2 Ecuador – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Senegal 0-2 Netherlands  – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 5am
Recap/highlights: Qatar 1-3 Senegal – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Recap/highlights: Netherlands 2-0 Qatar – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Ecuador 1-2 Senegal –  Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan

How To Watch Group A matches live

  • When: November 20-29, 2022
  • Group stage game kick-off times: 5am, 8am, 10am, 11am (all ET)
  • Location: Qatar
  • TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock
  • Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Follow along with ProSoccerTalk for the latest news, scores, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 World Cup, and be sure to subscribe to NBC Sports on YouTube!


Group A table

1. Netherlands — 7 points (+9)
2. Senegal — 6 points (+1)
3. Ecuador — 4 points (+1)
4. Qatar — 0 (-4) – ELIMINATED


Qatar

Current FIFA world ranking: 49
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 0
How they qualified: As hosts
Coach: Felix Sanchez
Key players: Abdelkarim Hassan, Almoez Ali, Hassan Al-Haydos

Senegal

Current FIFA world ranking: 18
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 2
How they qualified: Beat Egypt in CAF playoff
Coach: Aliou Cisse
Key players: Idrissa Gana Gueye, Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly

Netherlands

Current FIFA world ranking: 8
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 10
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (Won Group G)
Coach: Louis van Gaal
Key players: Virgil van Dijk, Memphis Depay, Frenkie de Jong

Ecuador

Current FIFA world ranking: 44
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 3
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (4th place)
Coach: Gustavo Alfaro
Key players: Enner Valencia, Moises Caicedo, Pervis Estupinan


Senegal edges epic battle with Ecuador to clinch last 16 spot

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Senegal beat Ecuador to reach the last 16 of the World Cup, as the Lions of Terranga rallied to knock out the South Americans.

FULL MATCH REPLAY

Ismaila Sarr put Senegal ahead from the penalty spot but Moises Caicedo equalized in the second half and a draw would have been enough to send Ecuador through at Senegal’s expense.

[ MORE: Group A – Table, rankings, results, schedule ]

Cometh the hour, cometh the man as Senegal’s captain Kalidou Koulibaly scored the winner to send his country through to the knockout rounds for just the second time in their history.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub


Stars of the show

Kalidou Koulibaly: Scored the famous goal to send Senegal through and was dominant at the back. Led by example.

Ismaila Sarr: Another of one Senegal’s stars stood tall as he scored the opener and gave them an outlet. Sadio Mane would be proud of this display.


How to watch Ecuador vs Senegal live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET – Tuesday, November 29
Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

GOAL! Moments later Koulibaly puts Senegal back in front. What drama. Now Senegal are going through instead of Ecuador.

GOAL! Ecuador equalize. Brighton’s Moises Caicedo slots home after a flick on. As it stands, Ecuador going through ahead of Senegal.

GOAL! Hincapie clatters into Ismaila Sarr and he slots home the resulting spot kick. Senegal lead.

What a start from Senegal! Idrissa Gana Gueye slams a shot wide and Ismaila Sarr sees a deflected effort fly just wide. Ecuador have yet to get going.


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Enner Valencia has obviously been the main man for Ecuador with his three goals so far but Gonzalo Plata and Michael Estrada have been excellent alongside him in attack. Brighton duo Moises Caicedo and Pervis Estupinan have been superb too, while Angelo Preciado has been electric down the right flank.

Senegal’s defense has looked a bit shaky, even with Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly back there. In midfield Idrissa Gana Gueye was much better against Qatar and Ismaila Sarr continues to do his best to fill the huge void left by Sadio Mane.


Ecuador quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 44
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 3
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (4th place)
Coach: Gustavo Alfaro
Key players: Enner Valencia, Moises Caicedo, Pervis Estupinan

Senegal quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 18
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 2
How they qualified: Beat Egypt in CAF playoff
Coach: Aliou Cisse
Key players: Idrissa Gana Gueye, Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly


Iran vs USA: How to watch live, USMNT stream link, team news

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The USA seeks a return to the knockout rounds and that’ll only come with a win over Iran at 2pm ET Tuesday inside Al Thumama Stadium in Al Khor.

STREAM LIVE IRAN v USA

It doesn’t matter what Wales does vs England at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan because England already has four points and a draw would give Iran four as well.

The Yanks’ two draws mandate a win-or-go-home mentality on Saturday and there are multiple generations worth of redemption up for grabs after the USMNT was felled by Iran at the 1998 World Cup and failed to qualify for the 2018 tourney in Russia.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

How can Gregg Berhalter unlock the USMNT attack to get the goal or goals he’ll need to reach a date with Group B’s winner or runner-up?

Here is everything you need for Iran vs USA.


How to watch Iran vs USA live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Tuesday Nov. 29
Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

For Iran, it’s about riding the momentum of a huge win after finding inspiration in a huge loss. There’s an ocean’s worth of difference in emotion between the 6-2 tournament-opening loss to England in Al Rayyan and the 2-0 triumph over Wales In the same city. Can Mehdi Taremi or Sardar Azmoun succeed where Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling could not and break down the USMNT defense for a goal?

Meanwhile, the Yanks may still be lamenting a 1-1 draw with Wales as much as they are celebrating a strong performance that kept them unbeaten against England at the World Cup after a scoreless draw with Gareth Southgate’s men In Al Khor. Gregg Berhalter has to find a way to unlock the USMNT’s final-third woes when they hit Al Khor on Tuesday.

There has also been some off-field tension brewing between the U.S. and Iran surrounding this game, as Gregg Berhalter and captain Tyler Adams responded to in a tense press conference amid questions from the Iranian press.


Iran quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 20
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC (Won Group A)
Coach: Dragan Skocic
Key players: Ehsan Hajsafi, Sardar Azmoun, Mehdi Taremi

USA quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 16
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 9
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONCACAF (3rd place)
Coach: Gregg Berhalter
Key players: Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams

USMNT scenarios to advance: How can USA qualify for the World Cup last 16?’

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Everyone wants to figure out the USMNT scenarios to reach the knockout rounds.

“How can the USMNT qualify for the last 16 of the World Cup and make it out of the group stage?”

[ LIVE: Watch World Cup en Espanol en Peacock

That is the question you will hear time and time again ahead of their Group B finale against Iran on Tuesday, November 29 at 2pm ET.

This is intense.

[ MORE: Group B schedule, rankings, table ]

As the information below tells you, the USMNT scenarios is now very simple for Gregg Berhalter’s young side.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub

After their draws against Wales and England to kick off Group B play, it all goes down to the final 90 minutes against Iran to see whether or not they can reach the last 16 of the World Cup in Qatar.


Group B table heading into final group stage game

1. England – 4 points (+4 GD)
2. Iran – 3 points (-2)
3. USA – 2 points (0 GD)
4. Wales – 1 point (-2 GD)


Group B remaining schedule

Tuesday, November 29: Wales vs England – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
Tuesday November 29: Iran vs USA – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm


How the USA can qualify for the last 16

  • Win against Iran

How the USA will not qualify for the last 16

  • Draw against Iran
  • Lose against Iran