USA tames the ‘Three Lionesses’

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The United States Women’s National Team are one victory away from repeating as FIFA World Cup champions after defeating England 2-1 in the World Cup Semi-finals.

United States’ first goal came in the 10th minute when forward Christen Press (who plays her club ball for Utah Royals FC) got her head on a Kelley O’Hara cross and directed the ball upper-left past England goalkeeper Carly Telford. The goal was Press’ 49th international goal.

England would draw it level nine minutes later when forward Ellen White connected on a cross from Beth Mead to claim her sixth goal of the tournament. That strike put her in the lead for the Golden Boot at this year’s tournament, but only temporarily.

The second goal for the United States came in the 31st minute when forward Alex Morgan (star of NWSL’s Orlando Pride) went up in the air to head in a cross from Lindsey Horan (who plays at club level for Portland Thorns). The goal was Morgan’s sixth of the tournament, putting her ahead of White in the Golden Boot race (thanks to her three assists).

In the 68th minute, England thought they had their second equalizer when White once again split the US defenders in the middle of the field, but it was negated by a very tight offside call after the goal was reviewed by VAR.

England had another chance to get the second equalizer towards the end when VAR reviewed that US defender Becky Sauerbrunn (who also plays for Utah Royals FC) clipped the right leg of White and the Lionesses were awarded a penalty. Captain Steph Houghton took the penalty but it was stopped by US goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher (who tends net for Chicago Red Stars).

The United States were able to hold on to the 2-1 lead and secure their third-straight World Cup Final and a chance to repeat at champions.