The United States Women’s National Team’s hopes for a fourth World Cup are still alive. The Yanks took on France in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Women’s World Cup on Friday afternoon, and despite the French dominating possession and the match taking place in Paris, the USWNT came out on top, 2-1.
The hero of the evening was standout winger Megan Rapinoe. Despite drawing the ire of the president earlier this week with her comments regarding visiting the White House if the USWNT wins its second World Cup in a row, Rapinoe was on her game, scoring the both goals for the United States.
The first came in the fifth minute of action — Rapinoe stood over a dead ball outside of France’s box, and thanks to some chaos in front of net, French keeper Sarah Bouhaddi lost track of the ball. Between that and Rapinoe playing a perfect ball into the box, the Americans found themselves up early.
From there, France managed to dominate possession for the remainder of the first half. They were, to put it bluntly, the better side, but they could not find a goal, opting to attack the U.S. down the wings and never quite getting an opportunity to really test American keeper Alyssa Naeher.
The beginning of the second half was much of the same. France’s press was swarming, while the USWNT struggled mightily to keep the ball, failing to string passes together to get their opponents on their back foot. But in the 65th minute, Rapinoe scored again. The Americans were able to force a turnover in the midfield and broke towards the opposing goal — Alex Morgan slid a ball into Tobin Heath, who played a pass through the box, and thanks to Samantha Mewis opting to let it keep rolling instead of taking a shot, Rapinoe was easily able to slip it past Bouhaddi.
Ten minutes later, the Americans struck for a third time, but a controversial offside call against Crystal Dunn that the official opted not to look at negated a goal by Heath.
France kept coming in waves, and while Naeher and the American defense kept holding strong, there’s sometimes no answer for a perfect set piece. That exact thing happened in the 81st minute, when Gaëtane Thiney played a gorgeous ball into Wendie Renard.
Despite the best efforts by the French, though, they were unable to get their second, giving the Americans a gritty 2-1 victory. With the win, the USWNT secured a spot in the semifinals against a dangerous England squad on July 2.