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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

U.S. headed to World Cup semi-final

As the FIFA Women’s World Cup continues just north of the border in Canada, the United States Women’s National Team is still alive and well, making confident strides through the competition.

After beating Colombia 2-0 and then China 1-0, the U.S. is scheduled to play Germany at Olympic Stadium in Montreal on Tuesday, June 30, at 4 p.m. If team USA beats Germany, it will play either England or Japan in the final.

The U.S. team looked confident going into its game against Columbia on June 22 at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, finishing at the top of its group in the group stage of the tournament.

At the start of the match, Team USA put intense pressure on the Colombian defense. Colombian goalkeeper Catalina Perez was forced to make dramatic saves from the start. After an offside call denied Abby Wambach a goal, it was clear that the U.S. team would score soon. After two hard tackles, both Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe received yellow cards, forcing them to miss the next game against China.

In the 47th minute, Alex Morgan received a breakaway pass from Rapinoe, putting her in a one-on-one situation against Colombian goalkeeper Perez. Perez rushed hard and fast, but slid right into Morgan, taking her out.

The referee gave Perez a red card and awarded Team USA with a penalty kick. After Colombia substituted Stefany Castaño in at goalkeeper, Wambach stepped up to take the kick. The goalkeeper dove to Wambach’s right, while Wambach went left. The shot went wide, missing the post by a few inches.

At the start of the second half, Team USA continued to pressure Colombia. In the 53rd minute, after a series of quick passes, Morgan pushed into the right side of the Colombian goal-box. From a hard angle, Morgan blasted a shot at goal. The Colombian goalkeeper managed to get a hand on the ball, but the shot was too strong and the ball forced its way into the net, giving Team USA a 1-0 lead.

Continuing to pressure Colombia, Team USA pushed the ball up the left side. Pushing into the box, Rapinoe was tackled hard by Colombian defender Angela Clavijo. Clavijo received a yellow card and Team USA was awarded another penalty kick. This time Carli Lloyd step up to take the kick.  As the whistle blew, Lloyd calmly jogged up and placed the ball in the right side of the net as the goalkeeper dove left. Team USA then led 2-0 against Colombia.

After the second goal, the life from the Colombian team had been drained and the game ended as a 2-0 win for the US.

The next game Team USA played was against China at Lansdowne Place Stadium in Ottawa on June 26.

This game would be another easy one for American goalkeeper Hope Solo as the ball remained in the American attacking third of the field for most of the game. Yet China’s defense was able to hold, and with a few misses by the U.S., the score remained 0-0 at the half.

At the start of the second half, Team USA never stopped pressuring. In the 51st minute, Julie Johnston played a cross deep from half-field into the Chinese penalty area. Lloyd went up and headed the ball toward goal, skipping it into the lower right corner. The U.S. now led 1-0.

For the rest of the game, Team USA played for possession and to run out the clock. China attempted to force a comeback and Hope Solo made a few easy saves, but they never developed any real chances on goal and the game ended a 1-0 win for Team USA.

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