Final, 2-1 USA: The referee ends the game. USA beats England and advances to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup final.
England pushed USA to its limits, but ultimately failed to close the gap Alex Morgan created by scoring her birthday goal. The first half was open and flowing, but the second was tight and physical. Ellen White appeared to score, but VAR ruled her offside. The drama then peaked close to the end of normal time when White won a VAR-given penalty kick. However, Steph Houghton’s penalty kick was too weak to trouble Alyssa Naeher, who made the most of what FOX broadcasters called her “World Cup moment.”
England’s hopes of a dramatic comeback finally were dashed when the referee dismissed Millie Bright for her second bookable offense.
USA reaches its third consecutive World Cup final and sets a trio of records in the process.
USA will be brimming with confidence ahead of the final, but Rose Lavelle’s and Megan Rapinoe’s hamstrings might limit the team’s options for the decisive game.
Player of the game: Alex Morgan’s game-winning goal and all-around menace near England’s goal earns her the top honor of the contest. Her trolling “tea-sip” goal celebration also was hilarious.
Up next: The U.S. will face either the Netherlands or Sweden on Sunday in the World Cup Final. England will face the loser of Netherlands-Sweden on Saturday in the third-place game.
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, 2-1 USA: There will be at least seven minutes of added time in the second half.
89th minute, 2-1 USA: England makes its final personnel change, as Georgia Stanway replaces Rachel Daly.
87th minute, 2-1 USA: Ali Krieger replaces Kelly O’Hara in USA’s final substitution.
86th minute, 2-1 USA: The referee shows Millie Bright her second yellow card and dismisses the England defender.
85th minute, 2-1 USA: England’s latest missed penalty kick must be the most painful of them all.
84th minute, 2-1 USA: Alyssa Naeher saves Steph Houghton’s penalty kick.
Houghton’s shot was far too tame to beat Naeher.
82nd miniute, 2-1 USA: The referee awards England a penalty kick and shows Becky Sauerbrunn a yellow card for a foul on Ellen White.
80th minute, 2-1 USA: Carli Lloyd replaces Tobin Heath in USA’s second substitution.
79th minute, 2-1 USA: Ellen White should have scored after Fran Kirby set her up inside USA’s goal-mouth, but Becky Saurbrunn intervened at the last moment.
White wants a penalty kick. The referees are consulting VAR over the decision.
71st minute, 2-1 USA: England makes another substitution. Jade Moore enters, and Keira Walsh exits.
68th minute, 2-1 USA: The referee disallows White’s goal because she was offside when the final pass came.
67th minute, 2-2: Ellen White scores another game-tying goal for England.
65th minute, 2-1 USA: Samantha Mewis replaces Rose Lavelle in USA’s first substitution. Lavelle had been playing really well, adding sting to her injury.
64th minute, 2-1 USA: Rose Lavelle requires treatment, and signs are ominous for the USA midfielder.
59th minute, 2-1 USA: Christen Press curls a shot wide of England’s goal.
58th minute, 2-1 USA: England makes its first substitution, as Fran Kirby replaces Beth Mead.
46th minute, 2-1 USA: The referee shows Lindsey Horan a yellow card for a late tackle.
46th minute, 2-1 USA: The second half is underway.
FOX appears to have solved the Megan Rapinoe mystery. Her hamstring has been troubling her in recent days.
Halftime, 2-1 USA: That’s the end of the first. USA leads by a goal.
The first half started with a bang that was Christen Press’ early strike, and the action didn’t abate until the referee signaled the interval. Press validated Jill Ellis’ decision to start her ahead of Megan Rapinoe by demonstrating her industry and quality in this pivotal game.
England created danger throughout the first half and showed its class in Ellen White’s goal. The Lionesses punished USA’s lapse in defensive concentration on that occasion and might have added to their tally had Alyssa Naeher not been on her game.
There’s no telling how the second half will unfold, given the even nature of the contest so far.
45th minute, 2-1 USA: There will be one minute of added time in the first half.
40th minute, 2-1 USA: The referee shows Millie Bright a yellow card for hitting Alex Morgan in the face as she tried to hold off the USA striker.
33rd minute, 2-1 USA: Alyssa Naeher makes a stunning save on Keira Walsh’s shot on USA’s goal.
31st minute, 2-1 USA: Alex Morgan restores USA’s lead with a powerful header.
Lindsey Horan lofted a delicate delivery into England’s penalty area. Morgan ran onto it and thumped her header past goalkeeper Carly Telford.
The birthday girl scores the birthday goal on her 30th trip around the sun.
Morgan and England’s Ellen White now are in a dead heat in the World Cup Golden Boot race. Morgan, who scored a record five goals against Thailand, has a narrow lead due to her three assists.
28th minute, 1-1: USA defender Becky Sauerbrunn’s attempted block nearly slices into her team’s goal.
25th minute, 1-1: England’s Carly Telford makes a fine save on Rose Lavelle, who rifled a shot on goal after receiving a knock-down pass at the top of England’s penalty area.
19th minute, 1-1: Ellen White levels the score for England.
Beth Mead delivered a pinpoint cross into USA’s penalty area, and White ghosted behind Abby Dahlkemper to stab it home.
White is on a historic roll.
16th minute, 1-0 USA: Rose Lavelle fires a shot well high of England’s goal, as USA looks to double its lead inside the first quarter-hour.
Ninth minute, 1-0 USA: Christen Press gives the United States the lead. It’s another early goal for Team USA.
Rose Lavelle’s dummy allowed the ball to reach the onrushing Kelly O’Hara on the right side of England’s penalty area. O’Hara crossed to the far post, and Press was well positioned to head her shot past Carly Telford.
USA keeps on scoring early goals in France.
Fourth minute, 0-0: Alex Morgan draws a save from England goalkeeper Carly Telford in the game’s first scoring chance. Rose Lavelle created the opening by nutmegging Millie Bright.
Kickoff: USA versus England is underway.
The teams have shown a penchant for scoring early goals in this tournament.
Pregame: Here are the starting lineups.
The biggest storyline so far is USA coach Jill Ellis’ decision to bench Megan Rapinoe, who solely has shouldered USA’s goal-scoring burden so far during the knockout rounds. Christen Press will start ahead of Rapinoe on the left side of USA’s attack.
Press, 30, is younger, faster and perhaps fresher than Rapinoe, 33, who has started five of USA’s six games of the 2019 World Cup. Press will duel with England right-back Lucy Bronze, the world’s best attacking fullback. Press’ speed might be more effective than Rapinoe’s guile should USA decide to counter-attack into the space Bronze opens when she darts forward.
USA legend Hope Solo agrees with Ellis’ decision.
England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley won’t start due to a hamstring injury. Carly Telford replaces her in goal.
2:30 p.m. ET: The United States women’s soccer team is within striking distance of glory, but it first must tame England’s surging Lionesses.
The teams will meet Tuesday at Stade de Lyon in Lyon, France, in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinals. Top-ranked USA looks to successfully defend the world championship it claimed four years ago, but third-ranked while England is determined to reach the World Cup final for the first time.
England reached the semifinals by winning Group D, then defeating Cameroon and Norway by 3-0 scores in the Round of 16 and quarterfinals, respectively. The Lionesses haven’t conceded a goal in four games, dating back to June 9 in their World Cup 2019 opener against Scotland.
The U.S. won Group F, then topped Spain 2-0 in the Round of 16 and beat France 2-1 in the quarterfinals. The Americans have won 10 consecutive Women’s World Cup games and will set a new tournament record with a win over England.
The winner of USA-England will face either Sweden or the Netherlands on Sunday in the World Cup final. The loser of USA-England will face the loser of Sweden-Netherlands on Saturday in the World Cup third-place game.
Perhaps that’s why American and English royalty are so keen on their team winning this contest.
Stay right here for all the action from Stade de Lyon. We’ll bring you the score, highlights and analysis as the game unfolds.
Thumbnail photo via Michael Chow/USA TODAY Sports Images