By Owen Krucoff
Boyds, Md., (7/2/19) – Spirit midfielder Rose Lavelle started and played 64 minutes on Tuesday as the U.S. women’s national team advanced to its third straight World Cup final with a 2-1 win over England in Lyon, France.
Lavelle made coach Jill Ellis’ first XI for the fifth time in six World Cup matches, and for the third time in as many knockout stage games. In the fourth minute, she made a brilliant move in the box to dribble past two English defenders before recording the game’s first shot on goal. She placed another attempt on target in the 25th minute after receiving a pass from Alex Morgan.
The Americans took an early lead in the 10th minute thanks to a Christen Press headed goal, and Alex Morgan restored the advantage in the 31st after the Lionesses equalized in the 19th. England spent the rest of the match hunting for a second goal, but wouldn’t be at its most dangerous until after Lavelle exited the game in the 65th minute.
Just minutes after Lavelle was replaced by Sam Mewis, a possible Ellen White goal for England was overruled due to an offside infraction following a VAR review. In the 84th minute, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made a terrific save on Stephanie Houghton’s penalty kick to stop what would be England’s last, best chance.
Heading into Sunday’s final, Lavelle has two goals and six shots on target in 337 minutes of play in France.
The U.S. will remain in Lyon to play for women’s soccer’s ultimate prize on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET on FOX. In the other semifinal, the Netherlands and Sweden will play at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday on Fox Sports 1 for the right to face the Americans.