U.S. Women Top England And Advance To World Cup Finals

U.S., Morgan
Photo: U.S. Soccer Facebook page.

Long Islanders Crystal Dunn and Allie Long along with their U.S. teammates are one win away from a world championship.

On Tuesday in Lyon, France, the defending World Cup champion U.S. women’s national team defeated England 2-1 to secure a spot in Sunday’s final. The Americans will play the winner of the Netherlands and Sweden semi-final match that will be played on Wednesday, July 3.

The win also puts the U.S. in its third consecutive World Cup final. In 2011, the U.S was defeated by Japan. Four years ago in Canada, the Americans would get their revenge in defeating the Japanese to win the nation’s third World Cup title

As she has throughout the 2019 Women’s World Cup, Dunn was in the Starting XI for head coach Jill Ellis. Long did not see playing time against England.

For England, former St. John’s University standout Rachel Daly was in the Starting XI for head coach Phil Neville.

There was a buzz around the United States prior to the start of the match as Megan Rapinoe, who had scored four consecutive goals, was left out of the starting lineup. It was later revealed that Rapinoe has a muscle injury, but said she would be ready to play in the final on Sunday.

Ironically, it was Rapinoe’s replacement, Christen Press that gave the U.S. its first lead when her header found the back of the net in the 10th minute. England, however, would respond quickly. Nine minutes later, Ellen White beat Alyssa Neaher for her sixth goal of the tournament. 

The Americans would regain the lead in the 31st minute. Lindsey Horan floated a well-placed pass into the England box where Morgan, who was celebrating her 30th birthday, headed home what would turn out to be the game winner. 

The second half was filled with drama with VAR in the middle of nearly all of it. England appeared to draw even in the 69th minute, but VAR ruled that White was offside by the slightest of margins. 

In the 84th minute, video review would give the Lionesses a golden opportunity to tie the U.S. After a review, defender Becky Sauerbrunn was ruled to have fouled White in the box. However, keeper Alyssa Naeher would save the spot kick from Steph Houghton.

Two minutes later, England’s task would become much more difficult. England defender Millie Bright received her second yellow card after a studs-up tackled on Morgan and was sent off.