The USA takes on England in their next World Cup game on Tuesday, July 2 at 3 p.m. Eastern on Fox. The semifinal match will take place at Stade de Lyon in Lyon, France. The USWNT is just one match away from being able to go for back-to-back World Cup titles.
The U.S. was able to take care of France, who was considered the co-favorite heading into the tournament. Team USA benefited from another early Megan Rapinoe goal just as it did against Spain. For the second straight match, Rapinoe added a late second goal to give the striker five goals in the tournament.
The biggest question heading into the match was how the USA’s defense would perform, especially goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. The U.S. was tested often, but Naeher along with the backline proved to be up for the challenge aside from a late goal. France scored with less than 10 minutes remaining to make for a compelling ending to the quarterfinal matchup. It was the best defensive performance we have seen from the United States.
U.S. manager Jill Ellis once again went with Rose Lavelle over Lindsey Horan as part of the midfield. It was the same starting lineup that Ellis used against Spain, and it once again drew criticism. Horan ended up coming in for Lavelle at the 63′ mark. Prior to the match against France, Ellis admitted this was far from just another match.
“I may not be as colorful as that [Megan Rapinoe’s comments on potential circus]!” Ellis told Sports Illustrated. “Megan is quite the bohemian, you know, so fair play. How do I say this? So many times when we play in big games, it’s actually where I get more excited. So when we have our pregame meetings, it’s more. Because it means more, it matters more, there’s more at stake, and that’s why you do this. You don’t go into one, professional sports, or two, coaching, if you’re not in it for those purposes and those reasons.”
The USA Will Be Favored Against England in the Semifinal Matchup
Given the U.S. just took out the host country, the United States will enter the semifinal match against England as the favorite. The challenge for the USWNT is not to have a letdown against England after many dubbed the USA-France match as the unofficial title game.
England brings plenty of momentum into the matchup after defeating Norway 3-0 in the quarterfinals. Prior to Norway, England defeated Cameroon 3-0 and now is 6-0 in their two matches so far in the knockout stage. According to Sportsline, the U.S. is now a sizable favorite to win the World Cup.
Following its 2-1 win Friday over France, #USA is now an even bigger favorite to win the #WorldCup. Its odds are now at 2/3 @SuperBookUSA, with England the second favorite at 9/2. Germany comes in at 5/1, followed by Netherlands at 12/1. Sweden and Italy are offered at 25/1.