Christen Press and Alex Morgan goals see off England to reach final amongst VAR controversy


Goals from Christen Press and Alex Morgan cancelled out an Ellen White equaliser to propel the US to the Women’s World Cup final.

The US started the game much the brighter and went close early on, Jill Ellis’ women displayed why they are the number one ranked side in the world.

Ellis’ decision to leave out Megan Rapinoe was met with some amusement as the joint-leading scorer of the tournament prior to this game started on the bench.

Their coaches decision was rewarded in the ninth minute when replacement Christen Press headed in from a Kelley O’Hara cross after poor England defending.

After sustaining American pressure, England equalised in the 19th minute through no else but Ellen White. A whipped ball in by Beth Mead was steered towards goal by White who saw the ball cannon off the post and in to restore parity for the Lionesses.

England could have taken the lead through a near Becky Sauerbrunn own goal but USA retook the lead just after the half hour mark through Alex Morgan when the 30-year-old rose highest from a Lindsey Horan cross.

It remained 2-1 at the half with the second half starting much the same as the first due to England’s sloppy passing and the US’ attacking threat.

Fran Kirby was introduced as Phil Neville chased a way back into the game, the Lionesses failure to clear the ball and break the American press ultimately limited their attacking possibilities.

England thought they had found their equaliser after a smart White finish from a Keira Walsh through ball but the goal was ruled out by VAR, replays showing White’s boot was just agonisingly offside.

White had another guilt-edged chance to score but missed the ball claiming she was fouled by the on-rushing US defender.

The referee agreed and pointed to the spot only for Steph Houghton, who had taken the responsible from Nikita Parris after she had missed two earlier in the tournament, to see her effort saved by Alyssa Naeher.

Millie Bright was then dismissed for a second yellow card offence as things went from bad to worse for the Lionesses.

The US ran down the clock to reach yet another final and are one step away from retaining their crown from four years ago.


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