USWNT / Women's World Cup

Women’s World Cup: USWNT 1-0 China

Carli Lloyd scored the only goal of the match as the USWNT dominated China and advanced to the World Cup semifinals. Despite having the majority of the possession, the US failed to create many clear cut opportunities before Lloyd rose highest to power home Julie Johnston’s deep cross in the 51st minute.

Jill Ellis made three changes to the side that beat Colombia on Monday night. The suspended Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday were replaced by Morgan Brian and surprise starter Kelly O’Hara and the underperforming Abby Wambach made way for Amy Rodriguez.

Rodriguez nearly gave the US Women a perfect start in the 2nd minute. Some brilliant build up play through the midfield saw the striker played in on goal with just the goalkeeper to beat from 20 yards. Unfortunately,  Rodriguez badly mishit her shot and it spun well wide of the China goal.

Stalwart defender Julie Johnston had the next chance for the Americans. A corner kick led to a bouncing ball in the box that Johnston turned toward goal from 10 yards out, only to have it cleared off the line by a Chinese defender.

In the end, the decisive moment came from Lloyd, who had an otherwise uneven match in the center of the park. After China partially cleared a corner kick, Johnston lofted a high ball into the box from 35 yards. Lloyd jumped highest for the cross and powered a strong header into the lower right corner of the goal from 10 yards out.

Heather O’Reilly, Christen Press, and Abby Wambach were all introduced as the US saw the result out with little trouble from the Chinese attack.

The US advance to take on Germany in the semifinals on Tuesday (7:30 pm) in Montreal.

Three Points

A Dominant Performance, but…

Early in the first half I said to those around me, “China is never going to score.” The Chinese defense was organized in two lines of four but the offense rarely threatened the US in attack. However, outside of a few clever build ups the US failed to create many clear cut chances despite dominating possession.

Even the American goal was borne more from sheer athleticism than a creative final third build up. The US must step the rate of play as they advance in this tournament and find a way to create opportunities outside of lofting hopeful crosses into the box.

The Replacements Step Up

Morgan Brian replaced Lauren Holiday in the defensive midfield position and had her best match of the tournament. The Chinese failed to create many chances of their own, and much of that was due to Brian breaking up attack after attack before they got going. The Americans’ high line held strong throughout the 90 minutes and Brian was the key cog.

Surprise starter Kelly O’Hara was also strong replacing Megan Rapinoe in an outside midfield role. O’Hara had a few half chances to get on the end of balls in the box in the first half and remained involved in attack until her removal midway through the second half. O’Hara played on despite bloodying her nose in the 70th minute after colliding with a Chinese defender and remained a strong component of the US attack.

The Germans Will be the Real Test

Germany is surely the best team the US has had to face in this World Cup. While the Americans haven’t conceded a goal since the first half of their first game against Australia, the German attack will show the true caliber of the US defense.

Johnston, Becky Sauerbrunn, Megan Klingenberg, and Ali Krieger have been outstanding on the US backline but the Germans will attack with more frequency, varied forward movements, and athleticism at every position on the pitch. A lofted ball into the box was good enough to beat China, but the Americans will have to find a more creative way to score against the top-ranked Germans.

USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 19-Julie Johnston, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 22-Meghan Klingenberg; 5-Kelley O’Hara (23-Christen Press, 61), 14-Morgan Brian, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 17-Tobin Heath; 8-Amy Rodriguez (20-Abby Wambach, 86), 13-Alex Morgan (9-Heather O’Reilly,81)
Subs Not Used: 2-Sydney Leroux, 3-Christie Rampone, 6-Whitney Engen, 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 16-Lori Chalupny, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 21-Alyssa Naeher
Not Available: 12-Lauren Holiday, 15-Megan Rapinoe
Head coach: Jill Ellis

CHN: 12- Wang Fei; 5- Wu Haiyan (capt.), 14- Zhao Rong, 6- Li Dongna, 2- Liu Shanshan; 21- Wang Lisi, 19-Tan Ruyin (3-Pang Fengyue, 58), 16- Lou Jiahui (11-Wang Shuang, 35), 23- Ren Guixin, 18- Han Peng (13- Tang Jiali, 18); 9- Wang Shanshan
Subs not used: 1- Zhang Yue, 4- Li Jiayue, 7- Xu Yanlu, 8- Ma Jun, 10- Li Ying, 15- Lei Jiahui, 17- Gu Yasha, 20- Zhang Rui, 22- Zhao Lina
Head coach: Hao Wei

Scoring Summary
USA – Carli Lloyd (Julie Johnston) 51st minute

Misconduct Summary
CHN – Wu Haiyan (caution) 50th minute

Stats Summary: USA / CHN
Shots: 17 / 6
Shots on Goal: 4 / 2
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 4 / 3
Fouls: 11 / 10
Offside: 7 / 2

Venue: Lansdowne Stadium; Ottawa, Canada
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 24,141
Weather: 75 degrees; Partly cloudy


Referee: Carina Vitulano (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Michelle O’Neill (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tonja Paavola (FIN)
Fourth Official: Salome di Iorio (ARG)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Carli Lloyd


  1. el pachyderm says:

    Moving on. The France -v- Germany game was stellar. End of the road for USWNT.

  2. Anyone else catch JP mistakenly call “the USA” “the Union” at the beginning of the game?

    • It still works, just a more antiquated way of saying the US! At least he is not referring to us as “America”.

  3. Kudos to Morgan Brian who played way above my expectations.
    So does Jill Ellis start Brian over Holiday on Tuesday? I think she at least has to consider it. Same for O’Hara. Should she start on the right when Rapinoe comes back forcing Heath to the bench? I think the former is unlikely, but IMHO O’Hara has got to stay.

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