Final, 2-1 USA: The referee blows the final whistle, and USA is heading to the World Cup semifinals after topping France.
USA-France lived up to its billing as the marquee game of the tournament, and Megan Rapinoe rose to the occasion with eyes of the world focused on her due to this week’s spat with Donald Trump. Rapinoe scored in each half to reward USA for the narrow edge maintained on balance of play.
France matched USA’s technical ability in most departments, but Rapinoe’s finishing, combined with USA’s tactical, physical and mental strength was enough to book a place in the semifinals.
USA now ties two of the Women’s World Cup’s most hallowed records.
Player of the game: Who else could it have been but Rapinoe? She scored twice, leading USA’s charge past France.
Next Up: USA will face England on Tuesday afternoon in the World Cup semifinals. It should feel at home in that stage of the tournament.
Meanwhile, France extends the Women’s World Cup hosts’ curse and must qualify for the 2020 Olympics.
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 coming up on NESN.com/soccer.
90th minute +4, 2-1 USA: The referee shows France’s Elise Bussaglia a yellow card.
90th minute, 2-1 USA: There will be five minutes of stoppage time in the second half.
87th minute, 2-1 USA: Megan Rapinoe departs to hero’s ovation from USA’s fans, as Christen Press replaces her for the final few minutes of normal time.
86th minute, 2-1 USA: France roars for a penalty kick after Amel Majri’s attempted cross hit Kelly O’Hara’s arm inside USA’s penalty area. However, the referee declines France’s appeals.
82nd minute, 2-1 USA: USA replaces Samantha Mewis with Carli Lloyd, and France substitutes Viviane Asseyi for Eugenie Le Sommer.
81st minute, 2-1 USA: Wendie Renard heads home Gaetane Thiney’s free kick, giving France some hope.
It’s Renard’s fourth goal of World Cup 2019, and all have come from headers off set pieces.
79th minute, 2-0 USA: Alyssa Naeher tips Eugenie Le Sommer’s shot over the crossbar, as France looks to cut USA’s lead in half.
78th minute, 2-0 USA: Parc des Princes is packed, and the atmosphere has been electric for much of the contest.
76th minute, 2-0 USA: France makes its first substitution, as Delphine Cascarino replaces Valerie Gauvin.
73rd minute, 2-0 USA: Tobin Heath looks like she has scored USA’s third, but the referee’s assistant rules the play offside. Crystal Dunn might have been a few inches past the last France defender as Alex Morgan set her up with a delightful through-ball.
65th minute, 2-0 USA: Megan Rapinoe scores again.
Tobin Heath set up the goal with a cut-back pass, and Rapinoe ran onto it and finished with authority.
Rapinoe authors more pages in USA’s record books.
64th minute, 1-0 USA: France’s Valerie Gauvin heads a shot weakly on goal, but USA goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher still has to dive to save it.
63rd minute, 1-0 USA: Lyndsey Horan replaces Rose Lavelle in USA’s first substitution.
Kelly O’Hara also needs treatment after taking a powerful shot to the body.
58th minute, 1-0: It’s another good scoring chance for France, as Eugenie Le Sommer collects a cross and shoots into the side netting from a tight angle.
53rd minute, 1-0 USA: France now applies the pressure, as Amadine Henry has a shot blocked, and Eugenie Le Sommer heads the ensuing corner kick just over USA’s goal.
46th minute, 1-0 USA: Samantha Mewis draws a save from France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi, as USA looks to strike early in another period.
46th minute, 1-0 USA: The second half is underway.
Halftime, 1-0 USA: That’s the end of the first half. USA leads by one.
This quarterfinal started with a bang but settled into an uneventful procession of play after around 20 minutes. Megan Rapinoe’s goal represents the difference in scoreline, leaving USA to benefit from some good fortune. After all, few expected her to score directly from that kick from a tight angle, but the fact no players among sea of USA and France bodies touched disrupted its path left France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi helpless to stop it.
France looked like it might seize the initiative shortly after Rapinoe’s goal, but the hosts seem to suffer amid the heat and humidity.
History suggests USA is en route to a semifinal date with England, but the players still have a job to finish.
45th minute, 1-0 USA: There will be two minutes of stoppage time in the first half.
38th minute, 1-0 USA: Kelley O’Hara crunches France’s Amel Majri and avoids a yellow card that would rule her out of the semifinals, should USA advance.
30th minute, 1-0 USA: The balance of play remains more-or-less even as the teams take a short water break. France is in the midst of a heat wave this week, and temperatures were around 86 degrees at kickoff.
France largely has ceded possession and territory to USA in recent minutes, but its tight defense has prevented the Americans from creating many meaningful chances on goal.
Alex Morgan also is receiving some treatment on the field. She exited USA’s third group-stage game (the 2-0 win over Sweden) due to a reported knee problem. She the factored little in USA’s win over Spain in the Round of 16.
18th minute, 1-0 USA: The action is swinging from end to end, as the teams push each other for the next goal, which will play a big part in determining how this fascinating contest unfolds.
14th minute, 1-0 USA: Megan Rapinoe sets up Alex Morgan in a promising position, but Morgan’s shot does little to test goalkeeper goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi.
13th minute, 1-0 USA: France striker Eugenie Le Sommer heads a shot on goal, but it doesn’t trouble USA goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
11th minute, 1-0 USA: Rapinoe’s goal bodes well for Team USA.
Fifth minute, 1-0 USA: Megan Rapinoe gives the U.S. an early lead.
It came from a free kick off to the side of France’s penalty area. Rapinoe hit the free kick into traffic, France’s Amandine Henry and USA’s Julie Ertz failed to redirect it, and the ball skipped past goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi.
It’s another early goal for USA, and France now trails for the first time in this World Cup on home soil.
The goal is Rapinoe’s fourth of World Cup 2019, and she has been on fire in the knockout rounds.
Fourth minute, 0-0: The referee shows France’s Griedge Mbock Bathy a yellow card for her foul on Alex Morgan.
First minute, 0-0: USA’s Julie Ertz shoots on goal, but it flies straight to France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi.
USA has tried to pressure opponents and score early during its World Cup journey so far, often with great effect.
Kickoff: USA versus France is underway.
Pregame: It’s time for the national anthems.
First USA’s will play.
Now France’s will ring out at Parc des Princes.
Here are the starting lineups.
USA names an unchanged lineup from the team that beat Spain on Monday in the Round of 16. That means Lindsey Horan starts on the substitutes’ bench again, and leaving Samantha Mewis and Rose Lavelle to provide structure and dictate tempo in midfield.
2:30 p.m. ET: The United States women’s soccer team has reached its first moment of truth in 2019.
Team USA will face France on Friday in Paris at Parc des Princes in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinals. The mega-showdown pits the reigning world champion and top-ranked team against the World Cup host nation, which is ranked fourth in FIFA’s most recent pecking order.
USA star Megan Rapinoe described the matchup Monday.
“I think this is the game that everyone had circled,” Rapinoe said Monday, per The Associated Press. “I think it’s going to be a great match. I hope it’s wild and crazy, I hope the fans are crazy and there’s tons of media around it and it’s just a big spectacle. I think this is incredible for the women’s game, when you have two heavy hitters meeting in the final knockout round.”
The USA-France winner will face England on Tuesday afternoon in the World Cup semifinals.
Stay right here for all the action from Parc des Princes.
Thumbnail photo via Michael Chow/USA TODAY Sports Images