The Unstoppable American Cyclone
THEY'VE DONE IT AGAIN! THE USA HAS MADE IT THROUGH TO THE WOMEN'S WORLD CUP SEMIS, AFTER WINING 1-2 OVER THE HOSTS, FRANCE! WHAT A SURPRISE, RIGHT!?
It wasn't really hard for people to make their bets on this one, right? The USA was clearly the favorite to win the game, however, France, the hosts of this edition's tournament, had hopes to win this game, especially after beating the Marta's Brazil. But then, you realize that the American side is unbeaten in their last 14 Women's World Cup games and have won their last 9 in a row, so... HOLY S***! Bye, bye, France!
The match started with lots of intensity: Just one minute in, and the USA already had a chance to score. Megan Rapinoe did really well to start, dribbling the ball forward to reach the edge of France's box, where she crossed a beautiful pass to Ertz, who hit it first time. Unfortunately, the ball went straight into France and Lyon's goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi, who stopped it comfortably.
That intensity was key to destabilize France's perfect defense, and to scoring the first goal just 5 minutes into the match. A foul in the 4th minute by defender Mbock Bathy over USA's Alex Morgan, resulted in a free-kick in favor of the USA. The perfect opportunity to take the lead, and who else to score it but Megan Rapinoe herself: The American player whipped the free-kick around the French wall (and some of her teammates) and through the legs of France's captain Amandine Henry (Ouch!), who was running to cover the nearest post. It didn't matter! The power and spin on the ball was too much for Bouhaddi, who couldn't stop the ball, which flew past her and went into the back of the net. GOOOOAAAALLLL! 0-1!
After that goal, France was able to recover, and their defense became more solid. Their attack began to pose some danger to the Americans: On the 13th minute, Le Sommer had the perfect opportunity to revert the situation, and to score the goal that could have meant the tie, and maybe, something more. But she couldn't convert!
French midfielder Majri put a brilliant cross into USA's box, which Le Sommer picked nicely at the far post, but, in the end, she couldn't direct the ball on target, which went completely wide.
The game continued with great superiority from the USA, who had a new chance at the beginning of the second half: On the 46th minute, Mewis took a powerful low shot that went to the bottom corner, however, Bouhaddi made a superb save... And another one just a few seconds after, as Heath latched onto the loose ball and sent it to the near post but wasn't able to convert. Le Sommer and Gauvin were again the clear threat for the Americans, who defended the lead as best as they could.
In the end, France's hopes were completely crashed as USA's hero, once again, Megan Rapinoe made the 2nd and final goal for the American side in the 65th minute.
It was a simple beautiful play: Tobin Heath crossed the ball perfectly into France's defensive area from the right side. Captain Morgan missed the opportunity to finish the shot but it rolled through to Rapinoe, who didn't miss the chance to end the game, slotting the ball into the back of the net. 0-2!
The end was the most intense part of the match as a 3rd goal for the USA was disallowed on the 75th minute. Finally, France scored a goal, thanks to Wendie Renard, who headed a great free kick ball on the 81st minute. 1-2! Clearly, that gave the French players a little bit of life, but, sadly, it wasn't enough to change the outcome of the game. Rapinoe was an absolute monster! END OF THE GAME!
With this win, the American warriors continue their journey to the FIFA Women's World Cup semifinals, where they will face England. Meanwhile, the hosts will stay in France, trying to find out who'll be the next Women's World Cup winner this year. Fewer teams are left in the tournament, who will win? The USA (Very probable)? England maybe (I hope so, but...)? Italy (Erm...)? The Netherlands (I think they'll pass)? Or will be the wall of Germany? Not to long to find out (Am I missing one? One that starts with...).