Final, 2-0 United States: It’s all over in Montreal. Team USA defeats Germany and now is on its way to the 2015 Women’s World Cup final.
The World Cup began in earnest Tuesday for Team USA, and the Americans stepped up in a big way. Team USA delivered a stirring performance to beat favored Germany in the highest-stakes meeting between these rivals in over a decade. The second half contained the most dramatic of plot twists, as the referee awarded two penalty kicks. Sasic missed Germany’s spot-kick. Lloyd converted Team USA’s. The most important of the referee’s decisions fell Team USA’s way and factored into the outcome of the game. That sometimes happens in sports and life.
Team USA will play either Japan or England on Sunday in Vancouver. Team USA is one game away from its first world championship since 1999.
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That’s all for now and thanks for joining us. Let’s discuss this one on Twitter @NESNsoccer and Facebook. Be sure to keep an eye out for some news, fan reactions, analysis and opinion that is on the way on NESN.com.
90th minute +3, 2-0 United States: Sydney Leroux replaces Morgan in Team USA’s final substitution.
90th minute, 2-0 United States: There will be a minimum of three minutes of stoppage time in the second half.
84th minute, 2-0 United States: O’Hara scores, and Team USA is on its way to Vancouver.
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Lloyd created the chance with some positive play inside Germany’s penalty area. She hit a cross into the goal-mouth, and O’Hara arrived first and thumped it in.
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82nd minute, 1-0 United States: Maier shoots high and wide from distance.
79th minute, 1-0 United States: Abby Wambach replaces Rapinoe in Team USA’s second substitution.
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77th minute, 1-0 United States: Germany makes its first substitution. Marozsan replaces Mittag.
75th minute, 1-0 United States: Heath exits and Kelley O’Hara enters, as Team USA makes its first substitution.
69th minute, 1-0 United States: Lloyd confidently scores the penalty kick, and Team USA is in front.
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Lloyd, Team USA’s captain, now has scored in three consecutive games.
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68th minute, 0-0: The referee awards a penalty kick to Team USA after Krahn fouls Morgan on the edge of Germany’s box. The referee cautions Krahn for the foul on Morgan.
Replays show Krahn made contact with Morgan outside of Germany’s penalty area. Bad call in Team USA’s favor.
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65th minute, 0-0: Morgan creates space with a deft dribbling move but drags her shot wide of the goal from a tight angle.
64th minute, 0-0: The game’s tempo increases following Sasic’s miss, as the teams trade forward raids and unconverted scoring chances.
60th minute, 0-0: Sasic misses the penalty kick, and the game remains tied.
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Solo dove the wrong way.
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59th minute, 0-0: The referee awards a penalty to Germany after Johnston drags down Popp.
57th minute, 0-0: Germany has shown improvement in the opening stages of the second half. Germany only has tested Solo once, but it is playing with more composure and variety when attacking.
53rd minute, 0-0: Mittag heads a cross toward Solo’s far post, but the U.S. goalkeeper dives and touches it out for a corner kick.
47th minute, 0-0: Lloyd heads Rapinoe’s corner kick wide of Angerer’s far post, as Team USA has an early scoring chance.
46th minute, 0-0: The second half is underway.
Halftime, 0-0: That’s the end of the first half. It’s goal-less in Montreal.
Team USA played its best soccer of the tournament in the first half but couldn’t find the breakthrough. The U.S. controlled possession and territory and created a number of promising scoring chances, but Morgan and Co. failed to convert them. Angerer deserves praise for her role in making that happen.
This is familiar territory for Team USA.
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You have to expect Germany to perform better in the first half.
45th minute +1, 0-0: Kemme shoulders Heath into the advertising boards, and Popp hacks down Rapinoe second later.
45th minute, 0-0: There will be a minimum of four minutes of added time in the first half.
43rd minute, 0-0: Morgan misses the target with a left-footed shot from a tight angle.
Morgan beat a defender with a touch and had a good look at goal, but she scuffed her shot as Angerer bore down on her.
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38th minute, 0-0: The referee cautions Sauerbrunn for a foul on Mittag.
37th minute, 0-0: A number of German defenders block Heath’s shot, as she attempts to shoot from close range.
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35th minute, 0-0: Bartusiak blocks Klingenberg’s shot. The deflection wrong-foots Angerer, but the ball rolls out for a corner kick.
34th minute, 0-0: The referee cautions Maier for tugging on Rapinoe as the U.S. playmeker dribbled past her.
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33rd minute, 0-0: Popp and Brian are back on the field.
31st minute, 0-0: The game remains paused, as Brian and Popp are cared for. The break in play probably benefits Germany. Team USA played with real verve and intensity in the first half hour. The pause gives Germany a chance to regroup and work out some things tactically to stop Team USA.
29th minute, 0-0: Brian and Popp both are down on the field after a clash of heads inside Team USA’s penalty area.
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There’s a stop in play, as Popp and Brian receive treatment.
21st minute, 0-0: Heath’s pass from inside the area hits Leupolz’s arm. The referee declines to award the Americans the penalty kick they wanted.
20th minute, 0-0: Team USA has started the game well and really should have the lead based on the quality of chances it has created. The pace of the game will slow over time, but skill and organization will determine what happens until the players’ energy begins to wane.
Team USA also is enjoying a defensive streak for the ages.
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14th minute, 0-0: Morgan walks in alone on goal and shoots low, but Angerer turns it away with another kick save.
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Heath created the chance for Morgan with a perfectly weighted through-ball. Morgan’s finish didn’t match the standard Heath’s service provided.
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Ninth minute, 0-0: Rapinoe slips forward and shoots on goal, but Angerer collects her effort with minimal fuss.
Both goalkeepers are active early on in this back-and-forth contest. Many regard Angerer and Solo as the best goalkeepers in the world.
Eighth minute, 0-0: Popp’s mis-hit cross goes straight at Solo, who parries it over the crossbar.
Seventh minute, 0-0: Johnston heads Rapinoe’s corner on goal, but Angerer denies her effort with a fine kick save.
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Third minute, 0-0: Leupolz heads a corner kick over Solo’s goal. She was unmarked, which should concern Team USA.
Second minute, 0-0: The game starts at a fast and fierce tempo. Germany is applying intense defensive pressure on Team USA. The Germans’ tactic will test the Americans’ ability to control the ball in tight spaces — something Team USA hasn’t excelled at in this World Cup.
Kickoff: USA-Germany is underway at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
Pregame: Team USA head coach Jill Ellis has sprung another surprise in her starting lineup.
Morgan starts as a lone striker, as Ellis abandons the two-forward formation. Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath will operate as wide forwards.
Carli Lloyd has scored in two consecutive games. She’ll play behind the front three as an attacking midfielder. Lauren Holiday and Morgan Brian will line up as holding midfielders.
Team USA’s vaunted back four (plus goalkeeper Hope Solo) remains unchanged.
Team USA has the historical advantage, but Germany is the favorite to win the highly anticipated semifinal.
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6:30 p.m.: Here are the lineups:
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4:30 p.m. ET: Aside from the final, the most anticipated game of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup is upon us.
The United States women’s national soccer team faces Germany on Tuesday at Olympic Stadium in Montreal for the right to advance to the title game of women’s soccer’s premier global competition. Team USA sits second behind only Germany in the latest FIFA rankings. Team USA and Germany have been the standout teams in this summer’s World Cup, living up to their pre-tournament billing as favorites.
Germany largely has relied on its powerful attack to advance to this point. Germany is the top-scoring team in the tournament with 20 goals in its first five games. Germany’s high-octane attack confronts Team USA’s robust defense, which has conceded just one goal in five games and stands as the best record in the competition.
This won’t be the first high-stakes meeting between the United States and Germany. The teams have played three times in World Cup history. Each time, the winner went on to win the tournament (USA in 1991 and 1999, Germany in 2003).
The teams’ shared histories are important, but what matters most is where the 22-plus women on the field stand in relation to their competitors. The players know each other well from club and international play, as Alex Morgan described Monday in the pregame press conference, and the team that prevails likely will do so because individuals impose their personalities on the contest. The names on the back of the jerseys will enter sports lore based on how they perform for the crest on the front of their jerseys in this semifinal.
The winner of USA-Germany will face the winner of England-Japan on Sunday in the final. The losers will meet Saturday in the third-place game.
USA-Germany kicks off at 7 p.m. Join us right here for all the action from Olympic Stadium.
Thumbnail photo via Michael Chow/USA TODAY Sports Images