A drilled Rapinoe free kick gave the defending champion the lead within the fifth minute, and the midfielder doubled the benefit after the break by directing a Tobin Heath cross residence.
With a group of the US’ know-how having fun with a two-goal benefit, the match appeared set for an easy conclusion however an 80th-minute Wendie Renard header raised the decibels contained in the stadium and sowed some seeds of doubt.
Les Bleues have been denied a late penalty enchantment in opposition to a US facet in retreat however, after a pulsating 90 minutes, the expertise, composure and ruthlessness of the US proved decisive in opposition to an opponent which has by no means been past the final eight of a World Cup.
Jill Ellis, who on this match overtook April Heinrichs’ document for essentially the most appearances as US head coach, described Rapinoe’s efficiency as “implausible.”
“It is nearly as if it simply feeds her,” Ellis advised reporters when requested in regards to the controversy which had surrounded Rapinoe this week.
“She’s an enormous character each on and off the pitch and I believe she actually thrives in these moments. There is a never-say-die perspective, she loves and lives for these moments. She’s a big-time participant and the larger the stage the extra she’s going to reply.”
The 33-year-old Rapinoe, prone to be enjoying her final World Cup, has now scored 5 targets in France, transferring her degree with teammate Alex Morgan and England’s Ellen White on the high of the scoring charts. As an instance the price of Rapinoe’s creativity to her nation, since her World Cup debut in 2011, she has scored seven instances within the match and offered seven assists.
Even earlier than referee Kateryna Monzul had blown her whistle to begin the match, US captain Morgan had raised eyebrows by not singing the nationwide anthem. Maybe it was Morgan’s means of responding to Trump’s criticism of her teammate.
The USWNT’s star striker had sung the “Star-Spangled Banner” with gusto, and had additionally positioned her hand on her coronary heart, within the US’ first 4 matches of this match. However on Friday she stood silent together with Rapinoe — who has beforehand stated she’s going to in all probability by no means sing the anthem once more — in Parc des Princes.
After conceding early, France labored its means again into the match, with Kadidiatou Diani posing issues on the suitable flank. Regardless of dominating first-half possession Les Bleues couldn’t draw degree, a mistimed Diani header being as shut because the host received.
The US started the second half aggressively, with Heath drawing a high-quality save from French goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi on the close to submit. However France created probabilities and appeared to be gathering steam till its protection was breached within the 65th minute. Heath was given the liberty to burst down the suitable wing and picked out Rapinoe who was unmarked on the far submit.
Within the 74th minute, Heath thought she had scored her group’s third of the evening, however the purpose was dominated out for offside and from there on in France took over, giving the impression that it would stage an unlikely comeback.
The towering Renard, unmarked contained in the field, headed residence Amel Majri’s free-kick for the defender’s fourth purpose in 5 video games. With the full-time whistle looming, France appealed for a penalty when Amel Majri’s cross hit the arm of Kelley O’Hara, however the referee, rightly, ignored France’s pleas and the US held on for its 10th straight World Cup win.
France, which monopolized possession, had brought about the US issues, forcing Jill Ellis’ right into a extra defensive formation within the second half, however as has been the case for France in earlier tournaments, an absence of chunk in assault proved to be its downfall.