They’ve done it.
The United States Women’s National Team are on their way to their third-straight FIFA Women’s World Cup Final after a 2-1 victory against England Tuesday afternoon. Goals from Christen Press and Alex Morgan pushed the Americans over the top and into the team’s fifth World Cup Final. They are the first team to reach three-straight World Cup Finals.
It was clearly a World Cup semifinal match, with two VAR decisions, a red card, a penalty kick, some major saves and chances galore.
The biggest shock in the lineups ahead of the game was American star Megan Rapinoe starting the match on the bench. Rapinoe scored four goals in the last two matches, only to be sidelined by what was reported as a hamstring injury.
In terms of possession, England had control throughout much of the first half, though the U.S. had six chances to the Brits’ one.
The Americans capitalized on that intensity in the 10th minute. Kelly O’Hara sent a well-timed cross to Christen Press who hit it with her head with authority into the net to put the USWNT up 1-0. Rapinoe had been getting the start over Press, but she put up performance worthy of a starting spot.
England got their first real chance of the match in the 19th minute, and unfortunately for the U.S. that was all they needed. Ellen White had an incredible finish, leaving American goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher with little to no chance to stop it. Just like that, the game was tied at one apiece
The U.S. responded in the 31st minute when Alex Morgan retook the lead for the Golden Boot and put her team up 2-1. Lindsey Horan put up a perfect cross and Morgan put it in the back of the net with a strong header. The crowd was thrilled to see Morgan get her sixth goal of the tournament on what happened to be her 30th birthday.
Naeher kept her team in the game in the 33rd minute when England’s Keira Walsh sent a rocket to the upper right corner that the goalkeeper had to push out at full reach. It wasn’t the last bit of beauty fans would see from the American keeper.
The rest of the half was very back and forth. Possession became more even between the two teams as they both created chance after chance.
The second half began very differently than the first. The intensity felt by both teams came out in the form of fouls and physicality. There were six fouls split evenly between the two teams in the first eight minutes of the half.
In the 67th minute, the U.S. got a major wake up call when Ellen White scored her second goal of the night, only to be called offside after Video Assistant Review review.
VAR came back into play in the 83rd minute when it reversed the referee’s no-call on Becky Sauerbrunn to grant England a penalty kick. With the chance to equalize, England’s Stephanie Houghton’s shot was saved by Naeher, who tracked it perfectly.
England went down to 10 players in the 87th minute when Millie Bright got her second yellow of the night when she tackled studs-up.
The Americans managed to hold on through seven minutes of stoppage time and keep England to one goal, taking them through to the final.
The team now moves to the game they’ve been working towards for four years. The World Cup Final will take place Sunday, July 7 at 11 a.m. ET. The Americans will play the winner of Sweden vs. Netherlands, which takes place Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET.