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2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, Quarterfinals
  • Wendie Renard (81')
  • Megan Rapinoe (5', 65')

Rapinoe double puts U.S. in World Cup semifinal

The United States women are on to the semifinals of the World Cup after Megan Rapinoe scored twice in a 2-1 quarterfinal win over France in Paris on Friday night.

Jill Ellis, who picked up her 100th win as U.S. manager, started Sam Mewis ahead of Lindsey Horan, with Alex Morgan, Rapinoe and Tobin Heath up top, and Mewis, Rose Lavelle and Julie Ertz in the midfield.

Rapinoe got the U.S. off to a perfect start inside of five minutes with a free kick from the left edge of the penalty area that beat France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi, who appeared to lose sight of the ball in the traffic in front of her net.

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The early goal was a good omen for the U.S. women, who had never lost a World Cup match after scoring first, but France looked undeterred after conceding and had some success moving the ball into the attacking third.

Despite plenty of end-to-end action throughout the remainder of the first half, neither team was able to fashion any legitimate chances and the U.S. took a 1-0 lead into half-time.

The U.S. came out firing in opening minutes of the second half. Bouhaddi spilled the rebound from a Mewis shot into the path of Heath and had to block her attempt from a rebound before Morgan saw a half-volley from close range blocked by Amandine Henry.

Horan came on for Lavelle just past the hour mark, and soon after the U.S. doubled its lead on the counterattack when Morgan played Heath in behind the French defensive line and she squared to Rapinoe, who finished with a first-time shot for her second goal of the match.

The goal was Rapinoe's fifth at the World Cup, tying her with Morgan for the U.S. lead in goals scored and with England's Ellen White and Australia's Sam Kerr for the overall tournament lead.

France put up a fight in the final 20 minutes and clawed one back through Wendie Renard, who deftly redirected a header following a set piece past Alyssa Naeher in the 81st minute to cut the U.S. lead in half.

Les Bleues pushed hard for an equalizer, but the U.S. saw out the game to set up a scintillating semifinal match on July 2 against England, which beat Norway 3-0 on Thursday in its quarterfinal.