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U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

June 26, 2015
A TRIP TO THE SEMIS
Lloyd connects to advance United States

By Michael Lewis
BigAppleSoccer.com Editor

Carli Lloyd's goal gave the United States a berth in the Women's World Cup Semi-finals.
Carli Lloyd's goal gave the United States a berth in the Women's World Cup Semi-finals.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
OTTAWA, Ontario – Midfielder Carli Lloyd celebrated her 200th international appearance in style, connecting in the 51st minute for the lone goal in a 1-0 United States quarterfinal win over China in the Women's World Cup before 24,141 spectators at Lansdowne Stadium Friday night.


The USA, the only country to reach the semifinals of all seven Women’s World Cups, will meet Germany in Tuesday's semifinals in Montreal. The Germans survived a nail-biter earlier in the day, defeating France on penalty kicks, 5-4, after playing to a 1-1 draw in Montreal.

The Americans dominated action from the opening kickoff to the final whistle and their effort were finally rewarded early in the second half.

Center back Julie Johnston lofted a long, high pass into the area to Lloyd, who outjumped Rong Zhao at the penalty spot and headed the ball into the lower right corner for her 65th international goal.

The Americans started the match without three regulars, two due to yellow-card suspensions and the third due to a coaching decision.

Midfielders Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday served one-game bans and Wambach sat the bench at the opening kickoff to rest her 35-year-old body and legs.

USA head coach Jill Ellis started Amy Rodriquez in Wambach's place and slotted Morgan Brian, the youngest American at 22, alongside Lloyd in the middle of the midfield. Tobin Heath was flipped to left midfield in Rapinoe's spot and Kelley O'Hara, normally a defender for the national side, started at right wing.

There were plenty of chances for the U.S., but like they have during so much of the tournament, they were unable to find the finishing touch.

In just the second minute, Amy Rodriguez went one on one with Chinese goalkeeper Fei Wang but shanked her shot wide to the left.

Five minutes late, O'hara took a shot from the top of the box that went just over the bar, landing in the top netting. She also missed on sa header in the 21st minute.

The American's nest chance of the first half in the 26th minute and was denied when Chinese defender
.Donga Li cleared Julie Johnston's shot off the goal line. Five minutes later, Johnston sent a header over the bar.

Leading 1-0, the U.S. came close to doubling the advantage in the 73rd minute, when Press fired a rocket of a shot from the right corner of the box that his the corner of the left post. Lloyd was called offside as she tried to corral the rebound.

Press, who was moved up to forward when Heather O'Reilly replaced Alex Morgan, had a chance in the 89th minute, as she cut across the top of the area, but her shot went wide.



   
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