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Women's World Cup Quarterfinal FT France 1 - 2 USA: Rapinoe brace powers USA to semifinal, France knocked out. USA have now won their last 10 matches at the Women’s World Cup, equalling the longest run of wins in the tournament’s history set by Norway between 1995 and 1999. While a spirited header from Wendie Renard gave the host hope, a brace from Megan Rapinoe helped USA cruise into the semifinal of the Women's World Cup. The defending champion will meet England in the semis on Tuesday.
Rapinoe gave the US an early lead after she struck a low free-kick through the crowd of players in the box and into the back of the net. France didn't register a shot on target in the first half but improved in the second half and were causing the current holders problems. Against the run of play though, Rapinoe got her second when she latched onto Heath's cross and fired the ball past Bouhaddi. Renard did pull one back for France late on with a brilliant header, but it ended up just being a consolation. The hosts' tournament has come to an end, but the US has now reached the semi-final for the eighth consecutive tournament. It will face England in the next round on Tuesday. The United States holds on to beat France 2-1 to reach the semi-finals.
Records galore in this USA win. France is heartbroken. Not only are the hosts knocked out, their 2020 Olympics hopes also seem all but over. Rapinoe gave the US the lead after just five minutes of the match from a free-kick and doubled their advantage shortly after half-time.
Wendie Renard’s 81st minute header provided fresh belief for Les Bleus but it was too little, too late for the hosts. Megan Rapinoe stands tall as U.S. beats France in World Cup battle worthy of the hype. This was a spectacle of women’s soccer, a capacity crowd in a famous stadium roaring as a reigning champion and an overdue contender collided in one of the most anticipated Women’s World Cup matches in history.
It lived up to its billing, and more. And when 90 exhausting minutes expired, the United States remained in contention for a fourth championship by edging France, 2-1, in a riveting quarterfinal before 45,595 at Parc des Princes.
Megan Rapinoe — the focal point of attention on the field by her exploits and off it for her outspoken opinions on politics, race and gender equality — scored twice for the second consecutive match as the Americans advanced to play England on Tuesday in Lyon. France had been seeking to reach the final of a major tournament for the first time. The United States has won 11 consecutive matches and is unbeaten in 14 straight since losing to host France, 3-1, in a friendly early this year.
Hours before kickoff, supporters of both teams gathered in the brasseries and cafes around Porte de Saint-Cloud, site of the closest Metro station to the stadium. French and U.S. flags hung from awnings and fans decked in jerseys raised a toast to the much-anticipated match.
As kickoff neared, streets leading to the venue filled with fans singing and marching with flags and traditional scarves. Among the chants: “Equal pay!” — a reference to the U.S. players’ efforts for gender equality inside the U.S. Soccer Federation. This time of year, Paris is always packed with Americans. With the U.S. soccer team in town, the numbers have swelled. On the eve of the game, organizers estimated 10,000 Americans and more than 30,000 French backers.
Expected guests included French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, FIFA President Gianni Infantino and famed coach Jose Mourinho. Both teams have played before sellout crowds, both previously filling Parc des Princes — the largest venue in use until the tournament moves to Lyon — in the group stage. (The crowd for the early U.S. visit against Chile was actually announced as slightly larger than the French gathering for the opener against South Korea.) Neither side was particularly impressive in the round of 16, exposing vulnerabilities that left the match without a clear-cut favorite. What a game this has been! We will now see USA in action again on Tuesdsy as they take on the Lionesses in Lyon. We still have two quarterfinal games to go before that. Italy takes on Netherlands in Valenciennes and Germany takes on Sweden in Rennes later today.
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