How the U.S. Beat England to Reach the World Cup Final Express News

Halftime

Ellis will be thrilled with the lead, and the two goals, but Neville and England will feel fortunate to have gotten one back, and to have traded punches with the world’s best team. Yes, England is still behind, but figure Neville is in the locker room right now screaming about how they’ve held their own, how they’ve got a goal, and how they didn’t back down.

The United States has had to do some serious defending today: England has tested the Americans like no other opponent so far, even France, which had moments but never really felt as if it would win. England definitely can. White’s finish was clinical, and the Americans can’t just turtle up the way they did against France and hope to fight her off. They’ll have to play, or else she’ll eventually find an opening.

That said, Ellis’s default in the past two games as she shifted to protecting a second-half lead has been to drop Julie Ertz in as a third center back. It might not be a bad idea today. White got between the center backs to score, and Ertz will add some clutter in there and a threat in the air on any crosses. But to make it work, Ellis would need Horan and Lavelle to drop and pinch in front of that back line, and that’s not Lavelle’s game. It is, however, a role for Sam Mewis.

But first, maybe they should try to get a third goal.

45’ + 1

England wins a corner but wastes it, and then Morgan gives chase for a long ball down the center, only to see it bounce into Telford’s hands.

There’s the whistle. Great half. The Americans lead, 2-1.

39’

Morgan takes a hand to the face from Millie Bright in a collision at midfield, Morgan’s latest wound. But Bright gets a yellow card for it, and that may make her life difficult. The U.S. pressure has been relentless, and she will find herself in challenging situations again. From now on, though, she will have to be careful.

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