LE HAVRE, France — Julie Ertz didn’t play at all and Alex Morgan subbed out to start the second half of the United States’ 2-0 win over Sweden Thursday. The Americans’ World Cup group stage finale victory was not without injury concerns.
Lindsey Horan started the match in the midfield to replace Ertz, who was dealing with a hip injury. After the match, Ertz said she expected to be ready for the next game despite her absence Thursday.
Morgan, who scored five goals earlier in the group stage against Thailand, went down in the first half Thursday. She came up limping initially, but she finished out the half. After halftime, Carli Lloyd subbed in and Morgan replaced her on the bench.
“Alex took a knock in the first half, and I just think it was more of, ‘Let’s be smart about this,’ in terms of what we did,” said U.S. coach Jill Ellis, who also noted she was taking the same approach with Ertz.
“It’s a zero-risk game in terms of having players available for the next round for sure,” Ellis said.
The U.S. will take on Spain in the Round of 16 Monday night in Reims, France.