Home / International Soccer / The USWNT Reaches Third Consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup Final
United States' Alex Morgan, left, celebrates her side's second goal during the Women's World Cup semifinal soccer match between England and the United States, at the Stade de Lyon outside Lyon, France, Tuesday, July 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

The USWNT Reaches Third Consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup Final

The United States National Women’s Team has reached the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final for the third consecutive time. The Americans aim to be the first team to win the competition in back-to-back years.

Starting Lineups

Both, Jill Ellis and Phil Neville decided to switch things up before meeting in this blockbuster World Cup semi-final.

USWNT

Jill Ellis decided to stick with the United States mastered 4-3-3 formation.

Megan Rapinoe’s absence in the starting line-up was a shocker given her position as one of the three Golden Boot Award contenders. In exchange, Christen Press took over the left winger role from the start.

Lindsey Horan who featured in all three group stage matches for the USWNT made it to the starting lineup over Samanth Mewis. Granted that, this will be Horan’s first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup knock-out round game at the age 25. Horan played on Julie Ertz right-hand side while Rose Lavelle moved to the left.

England

Phil Neville changed his preferred 4-3-3 formation to a 4-4-2.

Goalkeepers Carly Telford and Karen Bardsley have been switching on and off during the tournament. But Telford was called upon the starting lineup.

Frank Kirby hasn’t impacted the team in this tournament as many though she would. Today, Beth Mead started over Kirby alongside Jill Scott as one of the two center midfielders in the line of four.

Rachel Daly was chosen as a left midfielder instead of Toni Duggan.

What Went Down

First Half

England’s change of formation ahead of the game got them to a slow start.

The Americans pushed up the field and were able to enter England’s 18-yard box about three times in the fits five minutes. For instance, Lavelle embarrassed Millie Bright by megging her and finding space for a shot, which was blocked by Telford. The US swarmed England’s left side leaving Demi Stokes helpless.

The inevitable happened before the 10th minute mark.

Tobin Heath swung a direct pass toward Lavelle who let it go through her legs finding Kelley O’Hara deeper down the line. O’Hara crossed the ball to the second post without a sign of hesitation and Press towered over Lucy Bronze to give the USWNT an early lead.

It only took nine minutes for Ellen White to get the Lionesses back in the game. In detail, Mead wrapped a cross from England’s left-hand side and White met it after getting ahead of the American center-back. White’s opened up her foot leading the ball to the far post striking it and going in. Momentum changed opening the game more, but the USA kept dominating.

Birthday girl, Alex Morgan, would get her slice of the cake after the half hour mark.

https://twitter.com/alexmorgan13/status/1146021596232146944

Horan’s perfectly weighted ball was met by Morgan who headed it home giving the United States the lead for a second time in the match. Morgan went on to stick out her pinky and sipped on some imaginary tea as her celebration.

Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher produced a great save shortly after Morgan’s goal rejecting Rachel Daly’s long-shot attempt to keep the lead.

Second Half

VAR was a factor in the second half in two different occasions.

Scott manufactured an incredible flick pass to White who put the ball past Naeher. After a VAR check, it was determined that White was just inches offsides. No goal.

VAR struck again with 15 minutes left in the clock and this time  England would benefit from the result. Becky Sauerbrunn barely disrupted White in an attempt in the goal and close to goal. The contact was enough for referee Edina Alves Batista to point at the penalty spot after taking a closer look at replays.

The Lioness captain, Steph Houghton, stepped up for the penalty. Naeher became the hero after guessing the correct side and saving the penalty.

One More Game

The United States Women’s National will face the winner of the other semifinal between the Netherlands and Sweden in the World Cup Final on Sunday.

About Juan Aguerrevere

Figuring out a plan to make it big in the soccer scene in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world. For now, I'm having a blast writing for ESPN Gainesville and learning a lot from managers and students around the workplace. I'm covering the TV beat for Gators Soccer. What a team! Follow me on twitter: @J_AguerrevereUF

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