My personal blog on Scottish Women's Football
Two goals from Megan Rapinoe and one from Christen Press allowed the pre-tournament favourites USA to overcome a dangerous Australian side. The Americans have their keeper Hope Solo to thank for keeping them in the tie, as she made several important saves.
The Americans got the first goal, against the run of the play, as Rapinoe’s shot took a large deflection to beat the Australian keeper Melissa Barbieri. However, Australia soon equalised as Lisa De Vanna marked her 100th cap with a goal.
It was half-way through the second half when the USA restored their lead when Sydney Leroux set provided the perfect pass to Christen Press who fired the ball into the net. And America made sure of the victory after a delightful solo goal from Rapinoe.
Australia created the first chance of the game as Catlin Foord broke down the left, and her cross was deflected into the path of Emily Van Egmond whose piledriver was superbly saved by Solo.
But then the USA took the lead, and lady luck was shining down on them. Megan Rapinoe was lucky as the ball fell to her, but she controlled it, ran at the box before her shot took a wicked deflection off Servet Uzunlar changing the direction of the shot completely – giving Barbieri absolutely no chance of saving it.
Australia nearly got an immediate equaliser. Katrina Gorry’s deep inswinging cross picked out Samantha Kerr, but her volley was superbly kept out by Solo with an instinctive save.
And then the Australians did equalise, and it came from a free-kick on the left-wing. Unzular’s delivery was nervously cleared towards Michelle Heyman who twisted and turned in the box – but tees up Lisa De Vanna who blasted the ball into the net.
America had the better of the closing stages of the first half. Rapinoe picked out Abby Wambach at the far post, but she can only get a faint contact on her header. Minutes later, Wambach was picked out but once again her header failed to trouble the keeper.
And then in the closing moment, Lauren Holiday broke down the left and he cross was cleared to Leroux, but leaning back, she blasted the ball over.
In the 61st minute, America restored their lead. Rapinoe played Leroux down the left-wing, who picked out Press who fired the ball into the right corner.
Once again, America picked out Wambach in the box, and once again she headed just wide.
Australia were struggling to be decisive in the final third, and their chances were coming from long distance, with Van Egmond having one saved by Solo.
And in the 78th minute, America made it 3-1. Rapinoe was given so much space on the left as she ran from the half-way line, into the box, and was given the time to drive the ball into the bottom right corner.
Australia had a couple of great chances late on. Foord’s meandering run saw her nearly break into the box and the ball never fell kindly to an Australian. Then Uzunlar’s deep cross picked out Kerr, but her header was an easy save for Solo.
Woman of the Match
I am going for Megan Rapinoe.
USA: Solo, Krieger, Sauerbrunn, Johnston, Klingenberg, Press (Heat 68), Holiday, Lloyd, Rapinoe (Brian 86), Wambach, Leroux (Morgan 79)
Goals: Rapinoe (12, 78), Press (61)
Booked: Holiday 56, Rapinoe 64
Australia: Barbieri, Uzunlar, Alleway (Sykes 83), Catley, Foord, Gorry (Kennedy 80), Kellond-Knight, Van Egmond, De Vanna, Heyman (Simon 69), Kerr.
Goal: De Vanna (27)