Everyone was waiting for Alex Morgan or Rapinoe, the American stars, but it was Alyssa Naeher, the American goalkeeper, the star of the step to the United States final. It stopped a penalty to the English captain, Houghton, with six minutes left and allowed the United States to prolong the dream of revalidating the title by defeating England (2-1) in the first semifinal of the tournament. United States reaches its third consecutive final in a Women's World Cup.
The Americans were spared the extra time, but it was not easy for them to overtake England, even though they once again found an early goal. Jill Ellis, the American coach, left Rapinoe out of the lineup, the author of the two goals against Spain that also scored against France in the quarterfinals. But his substitute, Christen Press, was the first to hit the goal with a perfect header.
They had ten minutes of game and the United States already had part of the work done. But England did not give up. Ellen Whyte, the best scorer of the tournament with Alex Morgan, put the inside of the foot to tie the game only a few minutes later.
England did not lose face to the game and it was time for the best. With Rapinoe on the bench Morgan appeared to finish off with a head and put the United States ahead again. He celebrated with a gesture as if drinking a cup of tea with his little finger raised. A curious way to celebrate on the day of his 30th birthday that offended some English fans.
The United States always found a way to reach the English goal, but the British were eager to reach their first World Cup final. The VAR, watched by the Spanish Del Cerro Grande, reviewed what was the goal of the draw – again Whyte and again a touch -. The English forward was slightly ahead, but England would have a new opportunity. The penalty caused, of course, by Whyte, failed Houghton. It was the moment of glory for Naeher, the American goalkeeper.
The expulsion of Bright, moments later, ended the English hopes. Alex Morgan was chosen the best of the match. Rapinoe continued watching him from the bench.
. (tagsToTranslate) Women's World Cup