EYEAFRICA TV: Paris, France:Holders the United States overcame hosts France to book a semi-final date with England at the Women’s World Cup
Megan Rapinoe scored a goal in each half for the USA, the first a low free-kick that went in through a crowd of players, the second a side-foot finish.
France did not manage a single shot on target in the first half but Wendie Renard’s late header gave them hope. Les Bleues then had appeals for a penalty waved away after Amel Majri’s cross struck Kelley O’Hara’s arm.
The United States, who has never failed to reach the Women’s World Cup semi-finals, will face Phil Neville’s Lionesses in Lyon on Tuesday.
US president Donald Trump had criticized Rapinoe on Twitter before the quarter-final, telling the US women’s team co-captain not to disrespect our country after she said she would not visit the White House if they won the World Cup.
Trump said Rapinoe, who scored two penalties as the US beat Spain in the last 16, should “win before she talks”.
If the forward was affected by the episode, she showed no sign of it as she inspired her country to yet another World Cup semi-final.
Her opening goal came during a blistering start to the game, which saw three US attempts on target in the opening 15 minutes.
Rapinoe’s angled free-kick after five minutes went through the legs of France captain Amandine Henry and into the net and the USA went on to control the half.
They doubled the lead when Alex Morgan’s sublime pass allowed Tobin Heath to find an unmarked Rapinoe to score her fifth goal of the tournament.
The USA wobbled late on as Renard lifted the partisan crowd’s spirits but the holders’ vast experience saw them over the line and to a meeting with the Lionesses.
The hosts struggled before half-time in a game played in stifling heat in the French capital and did not produce their best football until they were 2-0 behind.
Kadidiatou Diani, one of their most dangerous players at this tournament, was kept quiet by Crystal Dunn, and it required a fine double save by Sarah Bouhaddi to frustrate Sam Mewis and Heath as the USA threatened to extend their lead at the start of the second half.
Renard’s goal, a glancing header from a free-kick, gave France new belief and they thought they had a lifeline when Majri’s cross struck the side of O’Hara’s arm but referee Kateryna Monzul decided correctly, replays suggested that the defender’s arm was not, in the language of the new handball law, making her body unnaturally larger.