The United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) reached their third straight World Cup final with a 2-1 win over England in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal played last July 2, 2019. Christen Press and US star Alex Morgan put the US into the final. Retiring top striker Ellen White put England on the scoreboard, but it wasn’t enough to defeat dominant USWNT.
The USWNT logged their first goal in the 10th minute. Surprise starter Christen Press, subbing in for the injured Megan Rapinoe scored a header from a Kelley O’Hara cross. The Americans tried pressing their advantage, attacking England swiftly for another goal, but it was England that scored shortly after.
Ellen White, who is playing in her last tournament for England, scored an excellent volley in the 19th minute. This was her 6th goal in 5 games, as she looked to finish the World Cup with the Golden Boot award. The goal helped put the fight back into the Lionesses, who played impressively before falling behind again before halftime.
Alex Morgan, who has been lighting up the competition with her goals as well as with her beauty, sealed the victory with a stunning header after taking advantage of a lapse in England’s defense. Things looked truly over for England when Millie Bright was sent off in the 86th minute.
The match was not without controversy, as Ellen White had a tying goal disallowed. The decision was hotly contested, with the video assistant referee (VAR) ruling that White was offside by the slimmest of margins. Ultimately, England could have tied the game with a penalty taken by captain Steph Houghton. Her shot was weakly taken and USA goalkeeper Naeher didn’t have to do much work to collect it.
U.S.A. dominates on the way to the Finals
This victory against England is just the latest in a string of strong World Cup performances from the USWNT. They arrived in France as favorites to win and certainly looked liked champions in their first tournament match. Their 13-0 thrashing of Thailand set a new World Cup record.
Going into the World Cup final, the USWNT has scored 24 goals in 6 matches, conceding only 3. They’ve banged in twice as many goals as second highest scorers England. Notably, the Americans made it through the group stage without letting in a single goal.
Predictably, Alex Morgan is the team’s best scorer, with 6 goals in the competition. Megan Rapinoe is not far behind with 5. Interestingly, one of Morgan’s goal celebrations against England that caused a stir on social media.
After scoring the winning goal, Morgan pretended to take a sip out of a cup of tea, which led some English commentators like Piers Morgan to accuse her of mocking their customs.
Morgan, however, went on to explain that the celebration signified their hard-earned victory against England. “Sipping the tea” has come to mean learning about or spreading gossip.
While her explanation certainly seems flimsy at best, Morgan and her team have definitely earned the right to kick back and enjoy an imaginary beverage after all their hard work.