Despite facing a sharp French side, the USWNT has punched their ticket to the Women’s World Cup Final for the first time since 1999, with a convincing 3-1 victory.
It was just nine minutes into the first half when Heather Oâ€™Reilly blew past her defender down the left flank, crossed the ball into the box and found the foot of Lauren Cheney.Â Cheney got a sweet touch on the ball, slicing it past the French goalkeeper to put the USWNT up 1-0.
Despite the confidence an early goal generally gives a team, France maintained the majority of possession throughout the first half.Â US goalkeeper Hope Solo was peppered with shot after shot, forced to make some crucial saves.Â France had some excellent opportunities on net in the first half, but was unable to finish any of them.
At halftime, the score was 1-0 in the USAâ€™s favor, but not a single US fan could feel comfortable with just a one goal lead over this French offense, which had been on top of the USWNT defense during the first half.
France looked immediately dangerous from the start of the second half.Â In the first ten minutes, their attackers repeatedly tested Hope Solo and the US defense.Â The pressure paid off in the 55th minute for France, as Sonia Bompastor got the equalizer with a shot from the left side of the pitch.
The US brought on Megan Rapinoe for Carli Lloyd in the 66th minute of play, getting some fresh legs on the pitch for the USWNT.Â France brought on Thomis for Soubeyrand in the 78th minute.
It felt like France was going to be the one to get the next goal, but Abby Wambach had other plans.Â In the 80th minute, Lauren Cheney swung a beautiful corner kick into the box, and Wambach was waiting on the far post to power it home with her head.Â The USWNT was up 2-1 with about ten minutes to go.
The US put the game out of reach just two minutes later.Â Alex Morgan finished off Megan Rapinoeâ€™s pass with a beautiful chip over the French goalkeeper, putting the USWNT up 3-1 in the 82nd minute. The goal was Morgan’s first of the tournament.
With the final whistle, the USWNT defeated a very tough French side and is on their way to the Womenâ€™s World Cup Final.
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