Megan Rapinoe at the double as USA hold on despite late France rally
Women’s World Cup quarter-final, Parc des Princes – France 1 (Renard 81’) USA 2 (Rapinoe 5’, 65’)
Megan Rapinoe of the USA celebrates after scoring her team's second goal during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Quarter Final match between France and USA at Parc des Princes on June 28, 2019 in Paris, France
A brace from Megan Rapinoe helped the USA beat holders France 2-1 and qualify for the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup.
Rapinoe, after a quiet but effective game against Spain in the quarters, put her side ahead after just five minutes when she curled in a free-kick from the left past a crowd of players and Sarah Bouhaddi.
That set her and her side on a path to meet Donald Trump in the White House, something that Rapinoe is adamant she will not attend.
In the second half, France put the pressure on the USA until Rapinoe completed a ruthless counterattack to score her fifth, and double her side’s lead.
Megan Rapinoe of the USA celebrates after scoring her team's second goal during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Quarter Final match between France and USA at Parc des Princes on June 28, 2019 in Paris, France.
Image credit: Getty Images
France failed to hit back to keep them in the game, and save for Eugenie Le Sommer’s effort before the second goal offered little until Wendie Renard added a late goal to make for a nervy finale.
Despite the frantic ending, the USA are fast becoming a frightening prospect for Phil Neville’s side after a slow start.
TALKING POINT - USA could overpower England
Phil Neville’s side have done an exceptional job of maintaining and raising their standards throughout the competition, but the US look like they are playing a different sport compared to the rest of the tournament. They could put out England with little effort if they are at the top of their game.
United States' forward Megan Rapinoe (R) celebrates after scoring a goal during the France 2019 Women's World Cup quarter-final football match between France and USA, on June 28, 2019, at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris.
Image credit: Getty Images
WOMAN OF THE MATCH - Megan Rapinoe
Another brace for Rapinoe, after all the attention she got this week for her comments about Trump, highlights what an unflappable and important player she is. This is probably her last World Cup tournament but she will expect another World Cup trophy.
5’ - GOAL! France 0-1 USA. Rapinoe scores - The excellent left-winger drills in a low cross that skids into the box and fires straight into the net, past the 'keeper and into the net.
46’ - BOUHADDI SAVE - Mewis forces Bouhaddi to push the ball away from goal, and Heath rebounds before the 'keeper turns it onto the post with an outstretched leg.
57’ - LE SOMMER SHOT - Gauvin challenges at the back post for a header, the ball run to Le Sommer behind her, and she blasts a shot into the side netting.
64’ - NAEHER SAVE - Gauvin sends an effort from a cross towards the top corner, sending Naeher scrambling to tip it away.
65’ - GOAL! France 0-2 USA. Rapinoe scores again - USA rush up the pitch on the right wing, Heath is released down the channel, and she picks out Rapinoe at the back post to rifle in a shot.
81’ - GOAL! France 1-2 USA. Renard scores - A free kick from the left is flighted in, and Renard glances in her effort to pull one back.
France's defender Wendie Renard (L) celebrates after scoring a goal during the France 2019 Women's World Cup quarter-final football match between France and USA, on June 28, 2019, at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris.