Games

US failed to take advantage of chances in Portugal draw, says Morgan

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AUCKLAND : Missed opportunities nearly derailed the United States’ title defence at the Women’s World Cup on Tuesday, as co-captain Alex Morgan said the Americans were unhappy with a goalless draw against Portugal, even as they advanced to the last 16.

The four-times champions never found their rhythm against the tournament debutants, as they spurned several good chances to score and nearly suffered disaster as Portugal forward Ana Capeta hit the post in stoppage time.

The draw allowed them to squeeze into the knockout stages but veteran Morgan said the team had plenty of room to improve.

“(We) should have solved problems a little bit better on the field, made a little bit better decisions… and taken advantage of the opportunities given to us,” said Morgan.

“We didn’t do that in a lot of ways in the game and that’s why the scoreline was the way that it was.”

They move on as the second-place finishers in Group E behind the Netherlands, whom they held to a 1-1 draw after beating Vietnam 3-0 in the opener.

While U.S. fans are more often accustomed to seeing the Americans at the top of the heap, second place is not new territory for Morgan, who was in the team that finished behind Sweden in the group stage in 2011.

They went on to reach the final that year, losing to Japan on penalties.

“We missed some big chances, I did as well. We should have put some in the back of the net and we didn’t. We own that. We’re not happy with the performance we put out there but at the same time, we’re moving on,” Morgan told reporters.

“Now it’s (about) coming back together knowing that we have all of the pieces to make it all way but putting that all together.”

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