Women’s World Cup

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USWNT holds on to knock off hosts France (video)

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Megan Rapinoe scored twice as the United States reached its eighth-straight Women’s World Cup semifinal with a 2-1 defeat of hosts France in Paris on Friday.

Wendie Renard scored with an 81st minute header for France, her fourth in five matches.

The reigning champions are two wins away from defending their title, and will have to get past England on July 2 in Lyon.

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Sarah Bouhaddi was called into early duty when Megan Rapinoe tracked down a wayward touch and laid off to Julie Ertz for a hard drive.

It was Rapinoe’s free kick that put the U.S. in front, the left winger set up by an Alex Morgan-drawn foul. Her effort bounded through a sea of players but was untouched on its route to goal.

France was in possession for most of the rest of the half, and their passing only met its mark outside the final third. Targeting the Yanks’ left side, Crystal Dunn was busy.

Aside from the lively Rapinoe, Julie Ertz and Becky Sauerbrunn impressed along with the edgy right back performance of Kelley O’Hara.

The Yanks came out of the gates hard, with Bouhaddi making a pair of saves on Sam Mewis and Tobin Heath in the 46th minute.

France had its best chance of the match a dozen minutes later with Alyssa Naeher unable to reach a back post cross but the hosts missing two decent chances to connect for an equalizer.

Naeher leapt to snare a looping header in the 64th minute, just after Jill Ellis brought on Horan to try and break up the French possession.

Rapinoe finished emphatically moments later, Heath’s cross into the box missing Mewis but finding the goal scorer for her brace.

Heath scored to make it 3-0, but the marker never reached the scoreboard thanks to Crystal Dunn being ruled offside. If she was, it was millimeters:

An O’Hara giveaway allowed Amandine Henry to test Naeher in the 78th, but the keeper got low to collect a shot from distance. And Naeher tipped a dangerous Eugenie Le Sommer side volley over the bar within a minute.

Renard got away from Horan to pound a header home in the 82nd to set up a grandstand finish.

O’Hara could’ve conceded a penalty if the handball rules were consistently enforced this tournament, but the call would’ve been harsh.

Women’s World Cup: Netherlands wins group

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Late goals secured winners for Cameroon and Netherlands, as Group E completed its group stage at the 2019 Women’s World Cup on Thursday.

Lineth Beerensteyn’s late goal helped the Netherlands overcome a blown lead to win Group E of the 2019 Women’s World Cup with a 2-1 defeat of Canada on Thursday.

Anouk Dekker also scored for the Dutch, who will meet Japan in Rennes on June 25 in the Round of 16. Canada will meet the Group F runner-up in Paris on June 24.

Christine Sinclair scored for Canada, and is now two goals shy of Abby Wambach’s international record.

Janine Beckie thought she’s earned a first minute penalty, but a lengthy review by VAR didn’t change the awarding of the foul, rather moving it outside the 18.

Speaking of 18, teenager Jordyn Huitema was caught offside after slotting a 1v1 goal through the legs of Dutch keeper Sari van Veenendaal.

Dekker nodded a Sherida Spitse free kick home in the 54th minute, a lead that would only last six minutes.

Sinclair made it 1-1 with a sliding back post finish with aplomb. The cross from Ashley Lawrence off a perfect Huitema lay-off set-up the captain.

Desiree van Lunteren sent a cross into the box that Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe couldn’t handle, allowing substitute Beerensteyn to run onto the ball at the back post.

Cameroon 2-1 New Zealand

An own goal nearly made sure neither Cameroon nor New Zealand advanced as a third place team, but Ajara Nchout had other ideas.

Nchout’s early second half goal had looked to have been the difference, but Aurelle Awona’s clearing attempt ended with her hammering a cross into her own goal with 10 minutes to play.

It would’ve been a rough way to go out, but Nchout danced around a few defenders to score a goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

USWNT clinches knockout round spot at World Cup

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Carli Lloyd scored two of the United States’ three first-half goals, as the USWNT clinched a spot in the knockout rounds of the 2019 Women’s World Cup with a 3-0 defeat of Chile on Sunday in Paris.

Julie Ertz scored the other goal, while Lloyd missed a penalty kick in her bid for a hat trick.

All goals came in the first 35 minutes. The second half explosion never materialized, stymied by Chilean goalkeeper Christiane Endler.

The U.S. will meet Sweden on Friday for the honors of winning the group and a potential quarterfinal test from hosts France. A draw or better sends the women to the group title.

The USWNT is also one goal away from matching the record for most goals scored in a group stage. Norway netted 17 in 1995.

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The Yanks went ahead with a historic, beautiful goal from Lloyd, who was the first to a weak clearance and smashed the ball into the side netting.

It was her sixth-straight World Cup game with a goal, a new record.

Chile fell behind 2-0 when Ertz snapped her head back to push a corner kick off the keeper and into the goal.

The U.S. was fortunate that an offside flag stopped goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher from a howler of a concession, and the defending wasn’t always on point given the straight-forward nature of the win.

Lloyd scored her second with a powerful header off Tierna Davidson’s corner. That made her the 10th player to score 10 goals at the Women’s World Cup.

To be fair to the Yanks, the score line could’ve been much higher had PSG goalkeeper and Chilean captain Endler not been outstanding for most of the match. She made a pair of unreal saves on Christen Press in the second half to keep it 3-0. heading into the final 25 minutes.

It took a penalty call through VAR to put the USWNT on the true precipice of four. The foul was on the chalk of the 18, which counts as the 18, but Lloyd smashed her penalty wide of the post.

Progress report: USWNT in fine form ahead of World Cup

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We’re two weeks away from the start of the Women’s World Cup in France, and as usual the United States women’s national team is among the favorites to compete for the title of world champion.

Since a July 7, 2017 loss to eventual champions Australia at the Tournament of Nations, the USWNT has been steamrolling people to the tune of one loss in 26 matches.

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That includes an unbeaten 2018 in which the Yanks won 13 matches and drew once while scoring 47 goals and allowing just five. There was an 894-minute shutout streak, that stretched into 2019.

After a slow start to 2019, the USWNT has reclaimed its form since a pair of draws at the SheBelieves Cup, winning six-straight with five clean sheets.

It’s important to note, however, that the U.S. is not alone in posting a strong record. Aside from Brazil, which has lost an almost absurd nine-straight and 10 of 11, the big sides are performing well.

  • England won the SheBelieves Cup.
  • Canada beat England and has not lost in 2019.
  • Germany’s played far fewer matches but also didn’t lose in 2018 and hasn’t in 2019.
  • France has won nine of 10, the only loss coming to Germany.

There’s a question to ask whether the improvement of European teams have done a better job of iron sharpening iron than the USWNT in CONCACAF, but perhaps that’s better suited for another day.

Jill Ellis has pulled out most of the stops in trying to get her team rolling in defense of this World Cup, aiming to become the second team to win back-to-back World Cups while also putting a two cup difference between it and its closest competitors (Germany in both cases).

That’s huge, because the world has caught up to the front-running, early-adopting USWNT. As cool as those early titles were, Brandi Chastain’s moment and all, winning the loaded 2015 tournament in breakaway fashion was its most impressive accomplishment (They allowed one goal before the final, and beat Japan 5-2 on the final day).

To win consecutive tournaments given the strength of the rest of the world would put the program back on the highest ground, and further buttress the legacies of players like Julie Ertz, Kelley O’Hara, and Tobin Heath.

Winning the World Cup is serious business, and Ellis’ can lay down a marker as a magnate of the game with gold in France.

Final squad lists released for Women’s World Cup

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The 23 who will vie to defend the United States women’s national team’s World Cup title are registered for duty.

Carli Lloyd, Julie Ertz, Megan Rapinoe, and Alex Morgan are back in the fold for the USWNT.

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Seventy-two of the players play in the United States, whether in the National Women’s Soccer League, NCAA Soccer, or with another club.

See the full list for every club here.

USWNT roster by position

GKs: Alyssa Naeher, Ashlyn Harris, Adrianna Franch

DEFs: Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelley O’Hara, Abby Dahlkemper, Ali Krieger, Tierna Davidson, Emily Sonnett, Crystal Dunn.

MIDs: Sam Mewis, Morgan Brian, Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Allie Long

FWDs: Mallory Pugh, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, Jessica McDonald, Christen Press.