Day 2 of the World Cup quarter finals featured a titanic showdown in Paris, with hosts France meeting the defending champions, the United States.



The United States marched into the World Cup semi finals for the eighth time after a 2-1 victory over France at the Parc des Princes.

Goals in each half from American winger Megan Rapinoe made the difference in the end. Wendie Renard gave the French a lifeline with a late goal, but it was not enough.

In one of the biggest games in the history of women’s football, the USA got off to to a flying start as Rapinoe finished off a 5th minute free kick with a killer instinct.

The United States took a 1-0 lead into the half-time break, following end to end action and tense times for the hosts. The French were good in possession but looked deflated after conceding early, and the Americans used their athleticism to play with great intensity.

It almost got even better for the USA right at the start of the second half, French goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi making a great double save only 15 seconds after the restart.

France then pressed hard for a goal but were not able to find the target. Despite plenty of chances, the hosts could not make anything count, with the United States defending strongly.

In the 65th minute, Rapinoe scored her second of the match. She was free at the back post from Tobin Heath’s cross and made no mistake, standing tall like the Statue of Liberty and doubling the USA’s advantage.

A possible French comeback was on as Renard headed home from six yards at a free kick, halving the deficit in the 81st minute.

Then there were French calls for a handball by Kelley O’Hara and a penalty in the 85th minute, however the referee waved play on. With the handball shout not even going to VAR, there will be a lot of questions asked.

It was complete devastation for Les Bleues as they could not capitalise on their opportunities. The USA were the better team, handling the big occasion, defending bravely and taking their chances.

The United States will now travel to Lyon, where they will face England in the semi finals on Tuesday (local time).

France 1 (Renard 81′)

United States 2 (Rapinoe 5′, 65′)