SPORTS

US beats France to reach Women’s World Cup semifinals

Jun 28, 2019, 3:22 PM | Updated: 4:21 pm

(CNN) — The most anticipated match of this Women’s World Cup did not disappoint. In a colossal contest on a balmy summer night in Paris, the US prevailed over host France to move a step closer to successfully defending its title.

Every blockbuster needs a fine storyline and the script for this quarterfinal is one that will stand the test of time because it was Megan Rapinoe — the USWNT co-captain who had irked US President Donald Trump earlier in the week — who was the match winner, scoring twice in each half to secure a hard-fought 2-1 win.

women's world cup megan rapinoe

Every blockbuster needs a fine storyline and the script for this quarterfinal is one that will stand the test of time because it was Megan Rapinoe who was the match winner. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

A knockout tie between arguably the two best teams in the world was always going to send a favorite packing. The reason why ticket prices had gone in the same direction as the mercury in the French capital for a match billed as “Le Grand Match” was because no-one could confidently predict how the match would unfold.

A drilled Rapinoe free-kick gave the defending champion a fifth-minute lead, and the midfielder doubled the advantage after the break by directing a Tobin Heath cross home.

With 10 minutes remaining, a Wendie Renard header raised the decibels inside the stadium and sowed some seeds of doubt but, after a pulsating 90 minutes, the experience, composure and calm of the defending champion proved decisive.

Rapinoe gained attention for picking a fight with the US President for saying she would not go to the White House if the US were to win the tournament. There were certainly plenty of talking points, much of which centered around the player herself.

Even before referee Kateryna Monzul had blown her whistle to start the match, US captain Alex Morgan had raised eyebrows by not singing the national anthem.

The USWNT’s star striker had sung the “Star-Spangled Banner” with gusto, and had also placed her hand on her heart, in the US’ first four matches of this tournament, but she stood silent along with Rapinoe, a player who has previously said she will probably never sing the anthem again, in Parc des Princes.

On a day where France had experienced record-breaking temperatures, the heat did not affect the opening stages of a match which started at a frantic pace.

After conceding early, France worked its way back into the match, with Kadidiatou Diani, in particular, posing problems on the right flank, but despite dominating first-half possession Les Bleues could not draw level, a mistimed Diani header being as close as the host got.

The US began the second half aggressively, with Heath drawing a fine save from Sarah Bouhaddi at the near post, but France had chances and looked likely to draw level until its defense was breached once again. Heath was given the freedom to burst down the right wing and picked out Rapinoe who was unmarked at the far post.

In the 74th minute, Heath had thought she had scored her team’s third of the night, but the goal was ruled out for offside and from there on in France took over, giving the impression that it might stage an unlikely comeback.

The towering Renard, unmarked inside the box, headed home Amel Majri’s free-kick in the 80th minute for the defender’s fourth goal in five games. With the full-time whistle looming, France appealed for a penalty when Amel Majri’s cross hit the arm of Kelley O’Hara, but the referee, rightly, ignored France’s please and the US held on.

Next for Jill Ellis’ side will be England, who swept away Norway 3-0 in its quarterfinal, in Lyon.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Sports

Friday, February 3 at noon, don't miss a special hour with KSL's BYU Insider Mitch Harper....
Ike Yospe

BYU Big 12 Preview Special

Friday, February 3 at noon, don't miss a special hour with KSL's BYU Insider Mitch Harper.
4 days ago
A group of high school students stand on a basketball court during a free throw. (Amanda Dickson/KS...
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: Is sportsmanship dead in high school basketball?

After a weekend basketball game, it's clear some of our students have a lot of learn when it comes to civility and sportsmanship.
4 days ago
Legendary quarterback Tom Brady has announced his retirement after 23 seasons in the NFL....
Ben Church, CNN

Tom Brady announces retirement: ‘I’m retiring for good’

Tom Brady announces retirement.
4 days ago
utah jazz educator award winners...
Andrew Gordon

Spanish Fork teacher is year’s first Jazz “Most Valuable Educator”

The Jazz "Most Valuable Educator" honor comes with a custom Jazz jersey and $1,000 grant for the winning teacher's classroom.
11 days ago
A fundraising effort has begun to raise $100 million to help redevelop the Ballpark neighborhood of...
Randall Jepson

Council chair weighs in on the future of Smith’s Ballpark

Ballpark Community Council Chair Amy Hawkins sees future green space and a place for people to relax at the site of Smith's Ballpark.
11 days ago
girls play tackle football...
Randall Jeppesen

Girls’ tackle football lawsuit reinstated

Several girls filed a lawsuit in 2017 to get three Utah school districts to create tackle football teams for girls.
19 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
US beats France to reach Women’s World Cup semifinals