LYON, France (July 2, 2019) – Before a captivated audience of 53,512 fans at Stade de Lyon, the U.S. Women’s National Team battled past England, ranked No. 3 in the World, with a 2-1 triumph that secures the USA a record fifth appearance in a FIFA Women’s World Cup Final.
On her 30th birthday Alex Morgan tallied the game winner on a header in the 31st minute after Christen Press had opened the scoring, also with a header, in the 10th minute. The Americans got a victory-securing penalty kick stop from goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher late in the second half. It was the first-ever penalty kick save by a U.S. goalkeeper in the regulation time at a World Cup.
The USWNT will now contest the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final against the winner of Wednesday’s second semifinal between the Netherlands and Sweden, which kicks off at 3 p.m. ET from Stade de Lyon (FOX, Telemundo). Kickoff for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final at Stade de Lyon is set for 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, July 7, and the game will be broadcast on FOX and Telemundo.
U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made two changes to the starting XI from the side that beat France in the quarterfinal, bringing in Press up top for Megan Rapinoe (who had a hamstring strain) and restoring Lindsey Horan to the midfield in place of Samantha Mewis. The changes proved key as both players provided fresh legs, contributed to the scoresheet and also made an impact on the defensive side of the ball.
Inside the first five minutes Rose Lavelle nutmegged England defender Millie Bright along the right end line, cut inside and blasted a shot at Carly Telford in the England goal that she palmed the ball away. The rebound evaded two crashing U.S. players before another chance was put over the bar. Moments later, Press floated a free kick into the box that drifted just over Morgan’s head as she tried to redirect it on goal in an early dress rehearsal of events to come.
Ten minutes in, the USA’s early pressure produced the game’s initial breakthrough. Tobin Heath’s through-ball was dummied by Lavelle, and Kelley O’Hara ran onto the ball down the right wing before whipping in a far post cross. The ball flew over England defender Lucy Bronze and straight to Press, who powered a header past Telford into the upper left corner for her first goal of the World Cup and the 1-0 lead.
Ellen White responded for England nine minutes later, deftly redirecting in Beth Mead’s cross after sneaking behind the U.S. defense. Her shot hit the right post and caromed in, giving Naeher no chance.
The teams continued trading chances with Lavelle forcing Telford into a strong save in the 25th minute.
Just after the half-hour mark, Morgan scored what proved to be the game-winner, heading home Horan’s cross for her tournament leading sixth goal. At the other end in the U.S. goal, Naeher came up with a flying finger-tip save to preserve the 2-1 advantage as England banged on the door looking for an equalizer just before half time.
Morgan is the first player in Women’s World Cup history to score a goal on her birthday. She turned 30 today.
An hour into the match, Press had the chance to put the U.S. ahead by two but failed to capitalize on a Telford mistake, curling a shot wide of the left post after she had picked off a pass from the England ‘keeper at the top of the box.
The miss looked to have cost the USA in the 67th minute when White slipped between the U.S. center backs and rolled the ball into the net. After a review, the Video Assistant Referee correctly determined that White was offside.
White nearly made amends in the 78th minute when Nikita Paris centered for her and referee Edina Alves Batista awarded a penalty kick after VAR revealed that White had been inadvertently tripped by U.S. defender Becky Sauerbrunn. England captain Stephanie Houghton stepped up to take the spot kick, but Naeher read her well and got down to her right for the massive and perhaps historic save.
With time draining away, England continued to push hard for a crucial second goal. The pressure got the better of center back Millie Bright however as she was sent off after receiving a second yellow card in the 86th minute for a cleats-up foul on Morgan, who she had earlier smacked in the face in the 40th minute to draw her first caution.
Despite seven minutes of added time, the U.S. salted the game away with two-time FIFA World Player of the Year Carli Lloyd coming on to harry the England defense, win a string of free kicks that took the sting out of final minutes and help push the USA into a third consecutive World Cup Final.
Next on the Schedule: The USA faces the winner of Wednesday’s semifinal between 2017 UEFA Women’s Euro champions the Netherlands and 2016 Olympic runners-up Sweden in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final on Sunday, July 7 at 11 a.m. ET at Stade de Lyon in Lyon.
Broadcast information: FOX, Telemundo
Social: Twitter, Instagram (@ussoccer_wnt) and Facebook
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Christen Press (Kelley O’Hara), 10th minute: Tobin Heath drove the ball deep into the England half before pulling up and sending a through-ball down he right side and past a pair of England. Rose Lavelle dummied the ball and it ran to O’Hara, who collected the pass in the right corner and whipped a pin-point cross to the back post where Press powered a line-drive header into the upper left corner. USA 1, ENG 0 [WATCH]
ENG – Ellen White (Beth Mead), 19th minute: Keira Walsh hit a cross-field ball to the left wing for Mead who had time to bring the ball down and curl in a low cross that bounced just in front of the six-yard box. White timed her run perfectly to meet the ball and re-directed a right-footed volley into the right side of the goal for her sixth of the tournament. USA 1, ENG 1 [WATCH]
USA – Alex Morgan (Linsey Horan), 31st minute: Abby Dahlkemper pulled up near the right side of midfield and hit a big switch to Christen Press on the left sideline. Press brought the ball down well and picked out Horan, who took one touch to settle, picked up her head to spot the run of Morgan and lofted a sumptuous cross into the center of the box. Morgan made easy work of the chance, leaping in stride to nod the ball into the left side of the net. USA 2, ENG 1 [WATCH] FINAL
The USA is 11-4-2 all-time against England. Of their last six meetings, five have been decided by a single goal – four wins for the USA and one for England – while one was a 2-2 draw in the previous meeting at the 2019 SheBelieves Cup.
The U.S. and England had only met one previous time in a World Championship tournament with the USA prevailing 3-0 at the 2007 World Cup in China.
The USA is the only nation to have reached the semifinals of all eight FIFA Women’s World Cups that have been held since the inaugural tournament in 1991.
This is the third World Cup in which the USWNT has never trailed entering the final, a feat also achieved in 1991 and 2015.
The U.S. has scored more goals (six) in the opening 15 minutes of matches at the Women’s World Cup than any other team. England was second with four. The USA has scored in the first 15 minutes of each of its World Cup matches.
The U.S. is unbeaten in its last 16 Women’s World Cup matches (13W-3D), winning the last eleven in a row. They are the only team to win 11 consecutive WWC matches, besting Norway’s run from 95 to 99. Six of the USA’s 1a wins have been by multiple-goal margins.
After the win vs. England, the USWNT is now 39-4-6 all-time in World Cup play, outscoring opponents 136-38 in 49 games. The 39 wins, 49 games-played and 136 goals scored are all FIFA Women’s World Cup records.
The victory was the 101st of Jill Ellis’ career at the helm of the USWNT. Only the late Tony DiCicco (105) has more.
The USWNT has had nine different goal scorers at this tournament. Only the 2003 German team (10) and the 1999 American team (10) have had more at a single WWC.
– U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. England
Date: July 2, 2019
Competition: 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup; Semifinals
Venue: Stade de Lyon; Lyon, France
Kickoff: 3 p.m. ET (9 p.m. local)
Weather: 82 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 0 2
ENG 1 0 1
USA – Christen Press (Kelley O’Hara) 10th minute
ENG – Ellen White (Beth Mead) 19
USA – Alex Morgan (Lindsey Horan) 31
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara (11-Ali Krieger, 87), 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Crystal Dunn; 9-Lindsey Horan, 8-Julie Ertz, 16-Rose Lavelle (3-Samantha Mewis, 65); 17-Tobin Heath (10-Carli Lloyd, 80), 13-Alex Morgan (capt.), 23-Christen Press
Substitutes not used: 18-Ashlyn Harris, 21-Adrianna Franch, 2-Mallory Pugh, 6-Morgan Brian, 12-Tierna Davidson, 14-Emily Sonnett, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 20-Allie Long, 22-Jessica McDonald
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
ENG: 13-Carly Telford; 2-Lucy Bronze, 5-Steph Houghton (capt.), 6-Millie Bright, 12-Demi Stokes; 4-Keira Walsh (16-Jade Moore, 71); 7-Nikita Parris, 8-Jill Scott, 17-Rachel Daly (19-Georgia Stanway, 89), 22-Beth Mead (10-Fran Kirby, 58); 18-Ellen White
Substitutes not used: 1-Karen Bardsley, 21-Mary Earps, 3-Alex Greenwood, 14-Leah Williamson, 15-Abbie McManus, 20-Karen Carney, 23-Lucy Staniforth, 9-Jodie Taylor, 11-Toni Duggan
Head Coach: Phil Neville
Stats Summary: USA / ENG
Shots: 10 / 6
Shots on goal: 4 / 4
Saves: 3 / 2
Corner Kicks: 2 / 2
Fouls: 9 / 12
Offside: 0 / 1
ENG – Millie Bright (caution) 40th minute
USA – Lindsey Horan (caution) 47
USA – Becky Sauerbrunn (caution) 83
ENG – Millie Bright (caution) 86
ENG – Millie Bright (sent off) 86
ENG – Nikita Parris (caution) 90+5
Referee: Edina Alves Batista (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Neuza Back (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Tatiane Sacilotti Dos Santos Camargo (BRA)
Fourth Official: Melissa Borjas (HON)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Alex Morgan.