Steph Houghton

AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani

Late penalty save helps USWNT to fifth Women’s World Cup Final

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Alyssa Naeher stopped Steph Houghton’s 83rd minute penalty kick, which was awarded by VAR, and the United States women’s national team reached its fifth Women’s World Cup Final with a 2-1 defeat of England on Tuesday in Lyon.

Christen Press and Alex Morgan gave the Americans leads in the match, but only an Ellen White equalizer arrived in the semifinal.

Ellen White scored England’s goal and Millie Bright saw her second yellow card just after Houghton’s butchered penalty attempt to send the Lionesses down to 10 players.

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Press made a surprise start in place of Megan Rapinoe and scored the game-opening goal for the Yanks, before White nabbed her tournament-leading sixth for England.

Lavelle has been outstanding in the early stages for the United States.

Press is the one who started the scoring, however, getting on the end of a looping cross from O’Hara and popping a header home for 1-0 in the 10th minute.

England drew level when Beth Mead’s cross beat the outstretched leg of O’Hara and White ran behind Abby Dahlkemper to snap the ball past Naeher with the outside of her foot. Game on.

Becky Sauerbrunn redirected a long English drive wide for a corner in the 28th minute, and the Yanks retook the lead moments later.

A diagonal ball from Abby Dahlkemper was well-controlled by Press on the touch line, who fed Horan. The former PSG star spotted Morgan, whose surgical run was matched by her header for 2-1.

Morgan celebrated by sipping a mock cup of tea. How very appropriate, Kermit, British, or both.

It wasn’t long after that that Naeher had to make a flying two-handed save at the back post. What a start.

Horan picked up a yellow card early in the second half, making it two awarded on the day after Millie Bright was shown a first-half caution.

Naeher made an in-tight save as England beganits fight for an equalizer.

A turnover deep in English territory allowed Press to drive at the Lionesses’ goal, but she failed to spot two teammates and instead unleashed a wild shot.

White then appeared to bring England level again, with White running between the American center backs to slot a low drive past Naeher for 2-2 with 22 minutes to play… but offside.

Demi Stokes looked to have sent England level for real, but something happened as her perfect pass got to White and saw the tournament’s leading scorer whiff on her effort to make it 2-2. VAR checked to see if Becky Sauerbrunn interfered with White, and she most certainly caught the striker’s leg.

But Houghton’s penalty kick was poor, and Naeher corralled the bounding low ball to preserve the win.

England cruises past Norway as Bronze scores rocket (video)

AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino
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England is off to its second-successive Women’s World Cup semifinal after three different goal scorers led the Lionesses to a straight-forward 3-0 defeat of Norway on Thursday.

Jill Scott, Ellen White, and Lucy Bronze scored in the win, the last name with an emphatic finish off a set piece.

Nikita Parris saw a late penalty saved by Norway after Steph Houghton was fouled and injured in the box.

England will meet the winner of France and the United States in the semifinal, while the 1995 champion Gresshoppene bow out at the quarterfinal stage.

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England’s well-executed plan didn’t need help from Norway, but the Scandinavian country provided sloppy play in the final third anyway.

England’s first goal was aided by accidental misdirection, as Lucy Bronze drove around the left of the Norway defense to cut a ball back toward the spot. EWhite missed her kick completely which must’ve stalled the defense for Scott, standing 6-8 feet away, to push a shot off the far post and into the goal.

Nikita Parris worked the same side of the defense before cutting toward goal, where she smashed a left-footed shot wide of the goal.

While Norway was a shade off in its attack, England looked ready for anything. White smashed a shot off the far post in the 29th minute.

The lead went to two when White drifted to the center of the six to side-foot an easy finish of Parris’ nutmeg pass from the right.

Norway came close to pulling back a goal just two minutes into the second half, but an awkward bounce stopped Caroline Hansen from a first-touch attempt.

England put it to bed through Bronze, who took a cut back free kick and smoked an arrow under the cross bar.

It could’ve been 4-0, but Parris saw her penalty saved by Ingrid Hjelmseth.