Lindsey Horan, angry over being knocked down minutes earlier by Danielle Van de Donk, scored a revenge goal minutes later in the second half Thursday to help the United States squeeze out a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands at the Women’s World Cup.
The Dutch struck first with a goal from Jill Roord in the first-half to surprise the Americans, who remained unbeaten in 19 consecutive matches with Horan’s second-half score.
Horan’s goal on a header off a corner kick from Rose Lavelle in the 62nd minute followed several minutes of jawing between the two teams: Horan was angry after she was knocked off her feet and even cursed in the direction of Van de Donk — her teammate for club team Lyon.
“Honestly, me and Dan always go up against each other and it’s a physical battle. I respect her so much because that’s how it should be, it should be competitive at all times,” Horan said. “Once we got through that tackle, all I wanted to do was score.”
The Americans tried to calm Horan, who responded with her 29th international goal, fourth in the World Cup, and second consecutive in this tournament.
Horan got the ball from Lavelle and before it even crossed the goal line, Horan’s expression showed she knew she was on target.
“Heat of the moment I got a little (angry) at her,” Horan said of Van de Donk. “But, Rose put in an absolute dime and I got on the end of it. I’m happy for the goal.”
With the draw, neither team secured a spot in the knockout round yet, with one group match remaining. Both the Americans and the Dutch sit atop the Group E standings with a win and a draw, but the U.S. has the edge for the lead with more goals.
The United States plays Portugal in its group finale on Tuesday in Auckland, while the Netherlands plays Vietnam the same day in Dunedin.
The game was a rematch of the 2019 Women’s World Cup final, a 2-0 win for the Americans in a game played in Lyon, France. It was the Americans’ second straight trophy in the tournament, and fourth overall.
Roord’s strike from atop the box went though Horan’s legs to put the Dutch ahead in the 17th minute.
Dominique Janssen had a good chance from distance in the 29th minute, but U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher jumped for it and the ball skirted above the crossbar and into the netting.
Horan’s header off a cross in the 36th minute went wide left as the pace became more frenzied with halftime looming.
Lavelle, who was hampered by a knee injury in the run-up to the World Cup, was subbed in for the United States at the half. Lavelle, who scored one of the goals in the World Cup final four years ago, replaced Savannah DeMelo.
The Netherlands went into halftime with that single goal lead. It was just the sixth time the United States had trailed at the half in 52 World Cup matches, and first time since trailing Sweden at the break in the opening round in 2011.
“I think the first half, we feel a little bit disappointed in how we played but I think we fixed things right away, the pressure that we got on, and the amount of chances and opportunities that came from it,” Horan said. “Proud of the team and the response.”
The sky was sunny but temperatures were in the 50s in New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington, and there was a stiff breeze for the match. The crowd was announced at 27,312.
“Very happy with mentality, very happy with the belief, especially from the young ones to mimic the older, experienced ones. Looking forward to the next one,” U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski said.
The Americans, vying for a record third consecutive World Cup title , defeated Vietnam 3-0 in their tournament opener. Sophia Smith scored a pair of goals and Horan added the other.
Andonovski used the same lineup for the Dutch that he used against Vietnam. He’s turned to Julie Ertz, normally a midfielder, to play at center back in the absence of veteran Becky Sauerbrunn, who injured her foot and was not able to play in the World Cup.
Megan Rapinoe, the American star who came in as a substitute in the opening game against Vietnam for her 200th appearance with the team, was not used in Thursday’s match. Rapinoe has announced that this is her final World Cup and she will retire at the end of the season.
The Dutch were without forward Lineth Beerensteyn, who was hurt early in her team’s 1-0 victory over Portugal to open the tournament. Katja Snoeijs replaced her in the starting lineup against the United States.
The Dutch were also missing leading scorer Vivianne Miedema, who ruptured her ACL while playing for Arsenal in December. She has 95 career goals for the Dutch.
The United States was undefeated in all but one of its meetings with the Dutch — the first game in 1991.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with the team at their hotel on the eve of the match and was at the game. Blinken was in Wellington for a formal bilateral meeting with New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta, and he will also meet with Prime Minister Chris Hipkins.
The top finisher in the group opens the knockout round in Sydney against the second-place finisher in Group G, which includes Sweden, South Africa, Italy and Argentina.
The second-place finisher heads to Melbourne against the top Group G team.