26,576 Fans filled Borussia-Park to watch the USA take on France in the Semifinal of the 2011 Women’s World Cup.
The 3-1 scoreline of this match is VERY deceiving. The USA came out swinging with an early goal from Lauren Cheney in the 9th minute. Despite being down 1-nil France managed to maintain their composure going into halftime
I don’t know what was said to the French team during the break, but the girls came out INSPIRED. Sonia Bompastor help to level the score in the 55th minute and help kick her teammates up to a higher level of play.
Most of the second half saw the USA playing defense. There was a stretch where the ball never left our half of the field of play… not only did the French maintain possession they peppered Hope Solo with a barrage of shots. The pressure was relentless. It seemed like it would only be a matter of time until France took the lead.
It wasn’t until the 79th minute when the Dynamic Duo of Lauren Cheney and Abby Wambach linked up off a corner kick that the release valve was hit and the pressure subsided. Cheney delivered the ball perfectly to the far post, and Wambach pushed the ball past French keeper Berangere Sapowicz.
Super SUB Alex Morgan added an insurance goal 3 minutes later. It was now the 82nd minute and the USA had booked itself into the WORLD CUP FINAL.
When the final whistle sounded, the USA rushed onto the field. Abby Wambach found U.S. coach Pia Sundhage and gave her a bearhug as the pro-American crowd of 25,676 serenaded the team with chants of ”U-S-A! U-S-A!”
USA v. France
“You need a lot of factors. You need to be tactical and you need to bring the American attitude. Right now, I just want to enjoy this moment but we will look back at the games we played and figure out who will be in the starting lineup is in the final. That’s one thing – the second part will be who’s coming off the bench because that player will probably change the game.” – Pia Sundhage
“In the last 10 minutes getting the go-ahead goal was a relief. Alex Morgan came on and made a difference scoring that third goal and giving us security. When the final whistle blew, the first thought I had was one more game. Yes, it’s a final, but the degree in which we will approach it is the exact same. It’s a game. It’s 90 minutes, hopefully. We want to go out and play good soccer and play the kind of game we know we can play. It doesn’t matter who we play against. We believe that we’ll be the team left standing because we have that belief in each other. It’s not going to be easy and it’s going to be something that we will have to work for. In the end, we will see what happens.” – Abby Wambach
“I’m so excited and I’m very proud. We’ve been working so hard and all the effort has really paid off. Now it’s going for the highest trophy we can get and that’s the World Cup.” – Christie Rampone
“Japan has done an incredible job and our journey has been a little up and down also. I think we all believed in each other from the beginning. It’s amazing looking at each other and saying: ‘We’re in the Final.’” – Alex Morgan
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USA Women’s World Cup 2011