FIFA Women's World Cup
USA tame Lionesses in Lyon thriller
02 Jul 2019
- USA beat England 2-1 to reach a record fifth Final
- Press and Morgan put the holders through to face the Netherlands or Sweden
- Reaction and more: #ENGUSA Live Blog
For a record fifth time and third successive edition, USA have qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup™ Final. But while the outcome may be familiar, there was nothing predictable or routine about this thrilling knockout encounter.
A capacity Stade de Lyon crowd looked on enthralled as the tournament's holders and record champions showed all of their quality and fighting spirit to see off a fierce English challenge.
The first half in particular matched and at times exceeded the remarkable standards set in the Americans' quarter-final win over France, with Christen Press and Alex Morgan scoring excellent headers either side of a delightfully dispatched Ellen White finish.
The second, if not as high in quality, was every bit as dramatic. VAR was prominent in the disallowing of another White goal and the awarding of a penalty that Alyssa Naeher saved from Steph Houghton, while Millie Bright saw red for an challenge on birthday girl Morgan.
Team Reporter analysis
It could have been the unprecedented change in system, a weary defence, sacrificing possession cheaply or failing to rise to the occasion. Whatever the reason, and despite a superb performance by Rachel Daly and plenty of energy going forward, England's standards slipped tonight and they paid a heavy price. The loss will have devastated Phil Neville's troops, who throughout this tournament have looked confident, ruthless and virtually unflappable. While England showed plenty of aggression at the Stade de Lyon, not all of it was well-channelled. Ultimately, it compromised their previously excellent disciplinary record - most notably when Millie Bright was shown a second yellow - and helped smooth USA's path to another Final.
As was the case against France in the quarter-finals, this wasn't always pretty - but the USWNT did everything they could to tough it out until the very end. The Americans came out firing once again and maintained their amazing record of scoring in the first 12 minutes of every match at this Women's World Cup, with Christen Press - in for the injured Megan Rapinoe - making her mark. Even when England levelled through Ellen White, the US held their nerve and the stadium erupted when birthday girl Alex Morgan re-established their lead with another superbly taken header. But they could never rest easy on that single-goal lead and a more physical, direct game in the second half made for plenty of drama, including some tight VAR calls. But when all was said and done, USA - once again - got the job done. Now it's onwards to yet another Women's World Cup Final.
Netherlands-Sweden semi-final, Lyon, 21:00
Additional tickets are on sale for the semi-final between The Netherlands and Sweden in Lyon, on 3 July. Make sure to check the ticketing platform regularly for any updates.