The United States women's national team moves west to the Canadian province of British Columbia and the city of Vancouver for its last Group D match against Nigeria Tuesday evening in the 2015 Women's World Cup.
The Americans are coming off a 0-0 tie against a Swedish team led by their old coach Pia Sundhage this past Friday night. US defender Meghan Klingenberg made the save of the night, heading away a potential game-winning goal by Sweden's Caroline Seger late in the second half.
The US earned one point for the tie and are in control of their destiny, heading into their final Group D stage match Tuesday night versus the Nigerian women, as forward Alex Morgan explains.
“We’re happy with the fact that we are in control of this group,” Ms. Morgan told The Washington Post. “And if we do our job in the next game, we know we are coming out first. I think we are in a really good position.”
The US women will advance to the second stage with a win or a tie. They could possibly move on if they were to lose to the Nigerians, but they would need help from other teams.
Nigeria, with a tie already in the tournament, is looking to bounce back from a 3-1 defeat Friday at the hands or, in this case, feet of Australia.
The Nigerians are also playing for something that's much bigger than any one member of their team – the hundreds of girls and young women kidnapped in their country by the Islamic militant group, Boko Haram.
"Everything we do when we play is for them," Nigerian forward Desire Oparanozie told USA TODAY Sports. "We play for ourselves and for our country, but we play for them. Those girls and the tragedy that happened to them, it is deep within all of us. When people see us fight for victory on the field, it is their spirit that is within us. We want to win for them."
The Monitor reported last month that the Nigerian Army has recently made progress in rescuing several hundred women and girls. But many remain captives.
The United States and Nigeria will play at 8 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday on Fox.
Other matches Tuesday include a Group C encounter between Japan and Ecuador at 5 p.m. Eastern time in Vancouver on Fox Sports 1.
The second Group C match of the day featuring Switzerland and Cameroon also takes place at 5 p.m. Eastern in Edmonton, Alberta. That match can be seen on Fox Sports 2.
Also in Edmonton at 8 p.m. Eastern, Australia and Sweden will go at it in the other Group D contest. You can see that match on Fox Sports 1.