The United States women’s soccer team advanced to the semi-finals 2015 World Cup in Canada, after it defeated the Chinese national squad with a composed 1-0 victory on Friday after a goal by skipper Carli Lloyd. Its opponent in the semi-finals will be Germany, who eliminated 2019’s upcoming hosts France after a penalty shoot-out.
The US team largely dominated Friday’s match, wasting a couple of chances in the first half of the match held at Ottawa’s Lansdowne Stadium. It held most of the possession overall and had eleven more attempts at goal than the defensive-minded Chinese team, who never seemed in contention to get back into the match despite the narrow margin it trailed by.
The match’s only goal came early in the second half, in the 51st minute, as a cross from winger Julie Johnston was headed home by American captain Carli Lloyd. China’s goalkeeper Wang Fei was the only who kept the Chinese team into the match with a couple of miracle saves, while Ali Krieger was denied by the post in the 73rd minute.
The other quarter-final of the day proved more exciting as two-time champions Germany barely managed to scrape past France in a dramatic penalty-shootout win, despite trailing with 0-1 with five minutes to go until the end of regular time.
France showed to be the more dominant side early on, creating more chances and controlling most of the possession. Germany replied with a couple of goal chances of its own, but it was France’s Louisa Necib who managed to break the deadlock after a couple of German defensive errors ended with her shot being deflected over captain-keeper Nadine Angerer and into the net.
Germany set out to find a late equalizer and the pressure paid off eventually in the 85th minute, when French defender Amel Majri conceded a penalty for handling the ball in the box. Frankfurt’s striker Celia Sasic converted it to send the match into extra-time.
Despite chances for both teams in extra time, neither could grab hold of the lead at the end of 120 minutes, with it being decided in the penalty shoot-out. All of the first 9 efforts were converted by players of both teams, but the last of the series proved to be the decisive one, as French substitute Claire Lavogez was denied by German captain Nadine Angerer who sent her team into the semi-finals.
USA and Germany will face Tuesday in Montreal, marking a clash of the only two women’s team who have won the World Cup twice. Today, the other two quarter-finals will see Australia face defending champions Japan and England confronting hosts Canada for a spot in the second semifinal.
Image Source: fifa.com