In a match that had championship game written all over it, the United States Women’s National Soccer team survived and advanced to their eighth straight semi-finals beating host France, 2-1.
Getting out of the group stage with no goals allowed and winning in the quarterfinals against Spain with a 2-1 victory, the US Women’s team got off to a quick start in the opening minutes of the game.
Five minutes into the game, a foul was called outside of the box to set up Megan Rapinoe with a free kick opportunity to get on the scoreboard first.
Rapinoe’s kick went through several of France’s defenders untouched and right past the French goal keeper to give USA the 1-0 lead early on in the first half.
As both teams battled in the first half, the host France really only had one shot on target which was saved by goal keeper Alyssa Naeher.
With both teams taking five shots in the first half, the U.S. Women’s national team had never lost a game they scored first in and had to battle in the second half with France getting a lot of opportunities.
Alex Morgan, who came in leading all of the World Cup with five goals, had a good chance to open up the second half getting a chance to take a shot on goal, but was blocked by French defenders.
France went on the offensive side by getting a shot that went wide and then forced Naeher to make another save at the early 63rd minute mark to give possession back to USA.
Setting up the offensive after the save, Morgan drove the ball down the field and got a pass to Tobin Heath inside the box.
Heath, facing some defenders, got a huge pass off to Rapinoe who was wide open and got the kick off and inside the net to be her fifth goal of the World Cup and give USA the 2-0 lead.
France got a couple of shot opportunities before USA’s next opportunity which saw Heath get a shot off and into the net, however, the line referee called her offsides and took the goal off the board.
France got several opportunities at breaking the shutout with the third try being the most successful from the host nation.
Gaetane Thiney took the free kick outside of the box for France and got it into Wendie Renard for a header that went past the US goalkeeper to cut the lead to 2-1 for team USA.
USA was able to hold on for the victory and eliminate the host after only one shot attempt from France having to be saved to make it their eighth straight semi-finals appearance in the World Cup.
Team USA will face off against England in the semifinals. The British won their quarterfinal match against Norway 3-0 to advance to the semi-finals.