In case you missed it somehow or you live under a rock, the USWNT took down host France in the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals, in what was dubbed by many as “the final before the final.”
On the back of Megan Rapinoe, who has scored four goals in the knockout stages, the U.S. were able to move on to the semifinals, where they will face England, who finished third at the 2015 edition of the Women’s World Cup. Despite the big win over France, the U.S. can not afford to overlook The Lionesses, who are a serious threat to dethroning the United States as world champions.
The victory over France was still a massive accomplishment, with many predicting the U.S. to be eliminated. But as mentioned previously, Megan Rapinoe would have none of that.
The U.S. got on the board early, scoring in the sixth minute off a free kick just outside the box that was set up courtesy of Alex Morgan drawing a foul. Rapinoe took the free kick, which went through a crowd of both U.S. and France players in front of goal, somehow making its way through for the 1-0 lead.
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 28, 2019
The U.S. added to the lead in the 65th minute, when a perfectly weighted ball from Morgan found an in-stride Tobin Heath, who laid the ball across the face of goal. After just being behind Sam Mewis, the ball found a running Rapinoe, who fired the shot into the net for the 2-0 lead.
MORGAN ➡️ HEATH ➡️ RAPINOE
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 28, 2019
France made things interesting in the 81st minute, when a Wendie Renard header cut the deficit to 2-1 for the French. That made for a tense final 10 minutes plus stoppage time, but the U.S. was able to stave off France to get the big win.
The 2-1 win over France in the quarterfinals for the U.S. set a record, becoming the most-watched quarterfinal matchup in Women’s World Cup history.
FOX drew 6.12 million viewers for Friday’s matchup, while the total viewers peaked at 8.24 million. It was the most watched soccer match in the U.S. since the men’s 2018 World Cup final.
The game not only drew viewers on television, but also drew viewers online. 211,000 people took in the match via online streaming, the most streamed Women’s World Cup game ever.
Golden Boot race
After becoming just the second player in Women’s World Cup history to score five goals in a single match in the United States’ opening victory over Thailand, Alex Morgan currently finds herself tied with teammate Megan Rapinoe in the race for the Golden Boot, with the five goals adding to three assists. Coming off back-to-back two goal performances in the knockout rounds – the first player in World Cup history to do so – Rapinoe also has scored five goals and tallied three assists.
Enlgand’s Ellen White is also in the race for the title of top scorer at the tournament, currently registering five goals through the quarterfinals. The race for the award will no doubt come down to who performs best in the semifinal and either the final or the third place match to take home the Golden Boot.
United States 1, England 0
While USWNT are the favorites, I believe England is going to give Team USA all they can handle as the English have given up just one goal throughout the World Cup. However, as good as England is, the USWNT are the favorites to win it all for a reason and will likely walk out with a 1-0 victory on Tuesday.
Netherlands 2, Sweden 0
In the other semifinal matchup, the Netherlands will take on Sweden, who had a surprise upset win over Germany in their quarterfinal game, while the Dutch defeated tournament darling Italy 2-0.
The Netherlands will take their more potent offensive attack to challenge the strong Swedish defense, breaking through to secure the win and their first trip to the Women’s World Cup final.
Team USA is 10-4-2 all-time against England. Out of the last five meetings between the teams, four have been 1-0 results – three wins for the USA and one for England – and one was a 2-2 draw.
Top selling Nike jerseys
If you had any (stupid) questions about how much the attention and support the USWNT is receiving, Nike announced on Monday that the U.S. Women’s Team’s World Cup jersey became the top-selling jersey in a single season on Nike’s online store.
“The USA Women’s home jersey is now the No. 1 soccer jersey, men’s or women’s, ever sold on Nike.com in one season,” said Nike CEO Mark Parker. “The exposure is driving outstanding sell-through in kits, high-performance bras and lifestyle extensions.”
Parker continued, “It’s hard to overstate how important this year has been to the evolution of the women’s offense at Nike.”
So there you go, just another one of the many things the USWNT is better at than our Men’s National Team.
How to watch
The U.S. will face England first on Tuesday at 1 p.m. MT on FOX, while the Netherlands and Sweden will face off on Wednesday at 1 p.m. MT. That match can be seen on FS1.