After swiftly taking down Chile, Thailand, and Sweden in the group stages of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the U.S. women’s soccer team was victorious once again on Monday, this time over Spain.
The Americans cruised through their first match of the tournament’s knockout round, defeating Spain 2-1. They now advance to the quarterfinals.
Both goals came from Megan Rapinoe, who scored twice on penalty kicks.
This marked Spain’s first appearance in the World Cup. The game also meant a return for Alex Morgan, who sat out the second half of last Thursday’s game with a minor injury.
Ahead of the match, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis told reporters, “I feel good where we are in terms of the collective understanding of our team.” Still, Ellis called Spain a “great opponent,” according to NPR.
Ellis also addressed the time gap between Spain’s last match — 6 days — and the Americans’ most recent match-up — 3 days — telling press, “I think we’re very used to a three-day rhythm.”
“It’s what we’ve done in certain tournaments,” the coach explained. “Specifically for this purpose of having a consistent rhythm in what we do. And we can’t control obviously what our opponent has.”
The women’s national team won the last World Cup in 2015, and they’re looking to defend their title at this year’s tournament, which will crown its winner on July 7.