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Birthday girl Alex Morgan scores game winner to lead USA to 2-1 semifinal win over England

USA is back in the Women’s World Cup final for the 3rd straight year.

France v USA: Quarter Final - 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France
Alex Morgan is back in Lyon, where she played professionally for one season
Photo by Maddie Meyer - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

USA 2, England 1

Birthday girl Alex Morgan had a tea party in the middle of the 2019 Women’s World Cup semifinals.

USA will advance to the World Cup final on Sunday against the winner between Netherlands and Sweden tomorrow. England will be relegated to the 3rd place game.

Stanford alum Christen Press, starting for an injured Megan Rapinoe (who played college ball at Portland) scored the first goal of this match. England quickly answered with an equalizer from their striker Ellen White, who temporarily took over the Golden Boot lead with her 6th goal.

Cal alum Alex Morgan then put the USA ahead late in the first half when she head in a goal from a feed from Lindsay Horan (who famously turned pro instead of playing college ball). Morgan is tied with White for the goal lead in this tournament with both players having one more match, of different importance, left.

England would not go down easy in the 2nd half. They got a goal reversed by VAR for offside, but got a golden chance to score the equalizer on a penalty. USA keeper Alyssa Naeher, a Penn State alum, made the key save. England eventually goes a woman down for the last 10 minute or so of the match. Just like in the Revolutionary War, USA has defeated England.

One more win on Sunday and USA will join Germany as the only countries to win back-to-back World Cup. USA is also looking for their 4th World Cup title.

Two more wins and USA can become only the second country to win back-to-back FIFA Women’s World Cup.

After dispatching host France in another close 2-1 win in the quarterfinals, USWNT will now take on England, who has had an easier draw/results in the knockout stage thus far. After dominating the Group stage, USA managed to only beat Spain and France by 2-1 results with all 4 goals scored by Megan Rapinoe. England whose national team is also known as the Lionesses, on the other hand, had a pair of 3-0 wins over Cameroon and then Norway. Coincidentally, 3-0 is also the final results for the lone meetings between these two nations in Women’s World Cup play when USA beat England by that score in 2007.

Cal women’s soccer alum Alex Morgan is hoping that today’s an even more special day than usual. The soccer superstar is having her 30th birthday today (July 2nd). Let’s hope that her teammates will be gifting her with goal opportunities.

The Lyon stadium should be packed with Alex Morgan fans (not that I expect the French fans to root for England in any international sports) from her one season playing on the local club team two years ago. Fellow USWNT star Megan Rapinoe has also spent time with the Olympique Lyonnais, who has a rich owner who love to get American superstars on his team.

I am pretty certain that the following English tabloid headline is not really true.

One of the interesting subplot of this World Cup is the starting lineup for USA. Head coach Jill Ellis has been under some fire for keeping midfielder Lindsay Horan, who some considers to be the best midfielder in the world right now, on the bench while the US offense has sputtered in the knockout stage thus far, might Horan earn a starting spot over a Rose Lavelle today? Barring a blowout win or injury, I do expect Alex Morgan to play nearly the full match in this one.

In the other semifinal, Netherlands will take on Sweden for the other spot in Sunday’s final (also from Lyon). Losers today and tomorrow will face off in a Saturday 3rd place match from Nice.

2019 World Cup Golden Boot Race Update:

All 4 remaining teams are guaranteed two more matches with there being a 3rd place match for this tournament. 3 players in today’s USA-England match are tied for the lead with 5 goals (along with Australia’s Sam Kerr who is now back to playing NWSL ball with the Chicago Red Stars). Alex Morgan is tied with Megan Rapinoe with 5 goals. England’s Ellen White also has 5 goals.

I expect this tie to be broken by the end of today’s match.

2019 Women’s World Cup Semifinals: USA vs. England

Where: Parc Olympique Lyonnais (Lyon, France)

When: 12 pm PT