The United States Women’s National Team entered the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup as favorites to win the whole tournament for the third consecutive time, but the team very nearly saw their run end in the group stages as Portugal very nearly netted a late goal that would likely have sent the USWNT back home.
In stoppage time of a scoreless 0-0 match, Portugal found itself on a breakaway behind the USWNT defense. Portugal striker Ana Copeta took the shot and it clearly beat the goalkeeper and briefly looked like it was going to find the back of the net.
Unfortunately for Portugal but very fortunately for the United States, the ball instead bounced off the post, saving the United States.
Portugal was this close 😬 pic.twitter.com/UMIZnAqyib
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 1, 2023
Portugal hits the post in stoppage time 😱 pic.twitter.com/PooU3ejT66
— ESPN (@espn) August 1, 2023
Had the shot gone in, it would have almost certainly led to a Portugal victory in the match as the United States had very little time to find an equalizer. If that had been the case, the United States would have been eliminated and returned home.
The USWNT narrowly avoided disaster, and people had plenty to say about it on social media.
Portugal Off The Post. In added time. Nearly bounce USWNT from the World Cup in the group stage. 🇺🇸🇵🇹pic.twitter.com/NsRSYdE167
— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) August 1, 2023
90+ minutes and Portugal off the post.
I’ve never seen a #USWNT so nervy on the field.
Some serious questions should be asked of Vlatko’s tactics and substitutions.
Sweden (and no Rose Lavalle) up next. https://t.co/Qc96fQsKha
— herculez gomez (@herculezg) August 1, 2023
The United States’ match against Portugal ends in a draw after Portugal missed this chance off the post. 😳
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) August 1, 2023
OMG PORTUGAL HIT THE POST HOLY BANANA SANDWICH
— Julie Stewart-Binks (@JSB_TV) August 1, 2023
PORTUGAL OFF THE POST
— Meg Linehan (@itsmeglinehan) August 1, 2023
Ultimately, the United States Women’s National Team survived – just barely – and advanced to the knockout round of the tournament.