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U.S. Leads France, 1-0, At The Half In Women’s World Cup Semifinal

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
July 13, 2011

Lauren Cheney scored from close range to give the U.S. team an early 1-0 lead in their semifinal match against France. The American women are trying to advance to the finals and win the World Cup for the first time since 1999. If they reach the July 17 final, the U.S. team would face either Sweden or Japan.

Update at 12:49 ET: U.S. leads, 1-0, at the half. The American women have never lost in the World Cup when leading at the half. The first 45 minutes were full of action, with France aggressively seeking a goal and the American women playing stout defense and taking advantage of chances for long runs. Only 2 minutes of stoppage time.

Update at 12:40 ET: Abby Wambach collided with defender Sonia Bompastor and the French goalie in front of the net, as a quick, low crossing pass came in. Bompastor was shaken up; she and Wambach shake hands.

Moments earlier, Wambach narrowly missed a header from the left side of the goal, after defender Christie Rampone streaked down the right side of the field and lofted a crossing pass toward the net.

Update at 12:37 ET: France has now taken 13 shots, to the Americans’ three. France’s Louisa Necib and Gaetane Thiney have been particular threats, as they’ve found running room up the center of the field.

Thiney had a golden chance to score, finding herself facing the U.S. goalkeeper from the left side of goal. But her shot went wide, as American Hope Solo cut down the shooting angle by rushing toward her.

Update at 12:28 ET: The moments after Cheney’s score held lots of action in the midfield, but now the match has settled into more acute offensive threats from both sides. The French have struck several hard, long shots that Hope Solo has gathered without incident.

According to ESPN announcer Ian Darke, U.S. coach Pia Sundhage told him that during her days of playing for her native Sweden, she once scored four goals against France.

The FIFA online match tracker is inadvertently amusing: “A player from France is adjudged to be in an offside position.”

Our original post:

American Heather O’Reilly fed a perfect pass to Lauren Cheney, and the result was a score from close range in the ninth minute, as the U.S. women’s national team got an early edge over France in the semifinals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

In the game’s early minutes, play was fast and spirited, each team hoping to get that all-important first goal.

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo had to deflect a hard shot from Louisa Necib, sending it over the top of the goal post. And Laurel Cheney had a beautiful run through the midfield in the fifth minute, eluding defenders before dropping the ball off.

The U.S. arrived in the semifinals after a nerve-wracking penalty kick win over Brazil. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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