Women's World Cup - USA stand after victory against England in the final: go and drink tea
Alyssa Naeher is according to official Fifa data 1.75 meters tall. But not a few on Tuesday evening saw in the US-American a "giantess". Granted, this had less to do with an actual growth spurt than with their performance on the court. The goalkeeper had finally prevented thanks to a held English penalty in the 84th minute equalizer.
"She has saved the team," said Becky Sauerbrunn, who had caused the penalty and yet could enjoy the 2-1 (2-1) victory with the United States. "That was such a big moment," Megan Rapinoe said about the keeper, who had parried the shot of England captain Steph Houghton with a jump in the right corner. And Christian Press said, "It was epic."
12 imagesUSA are in the World Cup final: It works without Megan Rapinoe
Rapinoe and Press, the two attackers were the protagonists of the second story of this semi-final of Lyon. The striker with the pink hair had caused the most upset in the US so far: Whether because of the confrontation with US President Donald Trump or because of their two goals against France, which had brought the USA in the first place so far.
A gate in Rapinoe style
But against England Rapinoe sat only on the bench. She did not even warm up with the team, the reason betrayed the striker and US coach Jill Ellis after the game: a thigh injury, pulled in during the quarter-finals. For the final Rapinoe but should be operational again.
In the semifinals, she was replaced by Press - and if there is a change that proves the much-vowed cadres of the United States, then this exchange: Just ten minutes were played when the 30-year-old freed herself in the Rapinoe style at the second post and a cross from the right side into the goal steered.
"We want to attack for 90 minutes, an early goal is the plan," US coach Ellis said: "Press has done a fantastic job." So far, the US has met in every game in the initial phase. Nevertheless, the title favorite had problems this time. The goal scorer herself admitted that the match against England was difficult: "You can not breathe for a moment," she said.
The eleventh win in a row is a new World Cup record
In fact, England striker Ellen White netted the equalizer nine minutes into the second half after the lead. And before half time it was US star attacker Alex Morgan, who scored the 2-1 - the final score. The 30-year-old added another model to the jubilee collection at this World Cup: the "tea drinker".
Of course, this was an allusion to British customs, and Morgan wanted to see that as foolishness. "We had a lot of fun with the goals so far," Morgan said. In the past game Rapinoe has presented again in this area, so they must now have to increase.
The US, also the message of this anecdote, can afford to brood over goal celebrations. Because they go after 16 World Cup games in a row without defeat each game with the certainty that they will probably win it.
They have now celebrated eleven victories at World Championships in series across all tournaments, setting a new record. The previous record in this category was Norway with ten wins from 1995 to 1999.
For the third time in a row after 2011 and 2015, the USA are in a World Cup final.
Of course, that can not always go on like that, is clear. But this mental strength makes the team - which also felt England coach Phil Neville like this: "They are the best team because of their mentality, the US know how to win."
Three goals in the first half, two VAR appearances (resulting in a penalty and an undisclosed - and really beautiful - White's goal), a dismissal of England defender Millie Bright and some bad kicks later (Rose Lavelle: "The second Half was a bit hard "), the game was in an exciting final phase.
And here you could see the difference between the two teams: While England lost the balls in the building game, nervously played bad passes and even made a false throw, the US took routine with runs to the corner flag the time from the clock. And there was plenty of that: Seven minutes of injury time were displayed.
Now the US only needs one more victory for the title defense. "We're here for one thing: to win, for the trophy," said Ellis. Enemy in the final is either Sweden, against the US had already won in the preliminary round 2: 0, or the Netherlands. Both teams meet in the evening in the second semi-final (21 clock / live ticker at SPIEGEL ONLINE, TV: ARD). Kelley O'Hara made clear the self-confidence of the US team with a short sentence. Who would you rather than opponents, she was asked. Her answer: "I do not care!"
England - USA 1: 2 (1: 2)
0: 1 Press (10.)
1: 1 white (19.)
1: 2 Morgan (32nd)
England: Telford - Bronze, Houghton, Bright, Stokes - Walsh (71st Moore), Parris, Scott, Daly (89th Stanway), Mead (58th Kirby) - White
UNITED STATES: Near - O'Hara (87th Warrior), Dahlkemper, Sauerbrunn, Dunn - Lavelle (65th Mewis), Ertz, Horan - Heath (80th Lloyd), Morgan, Press
Referee: Edina Alves Batista (Brazil)
Yellow cards: - / Horan
Yellow Red: Bright