USA defeated England 2-1 in the semi-finals of the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup on Tuesday to enter the finals of the tournament. The match between USA and England was played at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais Stadium in Lyon. As a result of this win, USA have now made their third appearance in a row in the World Cup finals. At the start of the match, the USA did not field their star player Megan Rapinoe and this came as a shocker to everyone. There were speculations that maybe the forward got injured as she did not take part in the practice session as well. The USA dominated the initial stages of the match as they enjoyed the bulk of the ball possession. The USA kept on troubling England in their half and finally, Christen Press was able to register a goal for the US in the 10th minute of the match to give the team a 1-0 lead.
However, the USA were not able to maintain their lead for long, as Ellen White struck a thunderous goal for England in the 19th minute bringing the scoreline to 1-1. England were able to enjoy more ball possession after some time in the match, but the major scoring opportunities were being created by the USA. Both teams did not sit back and relax as they kept on looking for scoring opportunities. Alex Morgan scored for the USA in the 31st minute and this gave the team a 2-1 lead. This goal was Morgan’s sixth goal in the ongoing tournament. England’s defence was clearly exposed by Morgan and she took full advantage of it.
England’s Millie Bright was given a yellow card in the 40th minute of the match as she had a very bad tackle towards USA’s Morgan. Both USA and England were not able to break the deadlock further and at the end of the first half, the USA were leading 2-1. England were facing an uphill task in the match as no team had come from behind in the first half to register a win in the women World Cup semis. At the beginning of the second half, England came all out guns blazing and they penetrated nicely through the US defence in search of the equalising goal.
The USA sat back a bit in the second half as they looked to defend their 2-1 lead, England kept pressing forward but the team was not able to score. It looked like England finally broke the deadlock in the 67th minute as White scored, but Video Assistant Referee (VAR) ruled that White was offside and hence the goal was disallowed. England were clearly the better side in the second half, but they just did not get luck on their side as the equalising goal kept on eluding them.
Lionesses were handed a penalty in the 83rd minute of the match as USA’s Becky Sauerbrunn made a bad challenge inside the box. But England were not able to take advantage as Steph Houghton missed the penalty and as a result, the USA maintained their 2-1 lead with only 5 minutes to play. Adding insult to the injury, Bright was handed her second yellow card in the 86th minute and as a result, she was sent off, reducing the English side to just ten women.
In the end, the USA managed to secure a 2-1 victory by not allowing England to cause any more hiccups. Seven extra minutes were added after the full time, but the USA kept the bulk of possession with themselves which enabled them to seal the victory. The USA will take on the winner of the Netherlands-Sweden match in the finals of the tournament.