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USA Through to World Cup Semis with Win over China

With some of their best soccer in the 2015 Women’s World Cup, the USA has advanced to the semifinals, winning 1-0 over China in Ottawa on June 26, the matchup a rematch of the 1999 Women’s World Cup final.

In the age old struggle of youth versus experience, experience won the day today. The oldest team in the tournament, the United States did not have too much trouble securing the win against the young China team.

From the get-go, the USWNT played with a high amount of energy, and would continue in that manner for most of the match. Led by Amy Rodriquez, who started the match up front for the US, the USA pressed high and forced turnover after turnover from the China defense. In the second minute of the game, the US almost had a goal as Rodriquez was one-on-one with the Chinese keeper, but her attempted chip shot went well wide of the net. Several shots from Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd kept China goalkeeper Wang Fei busy in the first 45.

As the teams huddled before the start of the second half, Abby Wambach stood in the center of the US huddle (not an uncommon sight) and beckoned her team to get a goal in the first 10 minutes of the half. And that they did, in the 51st minute as a cross into the box by Julie Johnston found the head of Carli Lloyd whose header bounced past Fei and into goal. The US continued to play at a high tempo for most of the second half, albeit petering out a little at the end as they sought to secure their 1-0 win.

Also playing their first minutes of the tournament were Kelley O’Hara and Heather O’Reilly.
While the scoreline may not show it, the US played probably their best game of the tournament against China, they dictated the course of the game from the opening whistle and secured a spot in the semifinal because of it.

The USWNT now has their toughest challenge yet as the face off against #1 ranked in the world Germany in the semifinals on Tuesday, June 30 in Montreal. #1 versus #2 square off, in a match that will surely be a thriller.


--Brandon Addeo (@baddeo95 on Twitter)

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