The semi-final game between the United States and England at the Women’s World Cup was tipped as being one of the games of the tournament before it even really began, and it certainly lived up to the hype in Lyon as the US defeated England 2-1 to progress into their third consecutive World Cup final, as reported by BBC and The Guardian.
It was a tense affair from the word go, with the Americans being the ones who pushed the tempo as the game progressed. Christian Press scored with a great header after just 10 minutes to give the holders the lead, but credit goes to the English who were able to peg them back courtesy of Ellen White’s instinctive finish.
Triumph for USA
Shortly after, though, poster girl Alex Morgan headed the US back into the lead, before a pretty immature and off-base ‘tea’ celebration which certainly divided opinions on social media.
After the half time interval England seemed to grow into the game as it went on, and it seemed as if they had equalised through Ellen White once again – but in the end, VAR ruled against them.
Not long after, however, VAR wound up ruling in their favour, as England were awarded a penalty. It seemed like the golden opportunity for them to draw themselves level, but Steph Houghton’s awful penalty ensured that the USA held onto their lead.
Millie Bright’s red card kind of summed up the evening for England, who crashed out at the semi-final stage for their third consecutive tournament. After the match, manager Phil Neville had the chance to reflect on what had been a strong tournament for the Lionesses.
“I’ve told them no tears tonight,” said Neville. “I’m proud. They have touched the hearts of the nation.
“I couldn’t ask for more. We had the time of our lives.”
“Nothing I can say will make them feel better. Elite sport and being on top of the world means that on Saturday in Nice we have to produce a performance.
“It will tell me a lot about my players. I’ve moved on from this already and now I’m looking forward to Saturday’s game.”
The game he is referring to is the third-place play-off, which is set to go down this weekend. They will take on either Sweden or the Netherlands in that game, who will contest their semi-final later on tonight.
The United States, on the other hand, will prepare themselves accordingly as they gear up to try and retain their World Cup title in the final. They’re almost certainly going to be the favourites heading into that game as you’d probably expect, but outside of the States (and probably Scotland) they probably aren’t going to be gaining all too many fans along the way.
A lot of that comes down to their attitude as of late, and while they may not care about it, they can’t allow their egos to believe that they’ve already won this tournament before they’ve managed to get themselves over the finish line.