Football Features

Every player rated as holders USA prosper in Paris to set up WWC semi-final clash against England

By Ben Green

Published: 22:05, 28 June 2019

USA have set up a Women’s World Cup semi-final clash with England after ending France’s hopes of triumphing on home soil with 2-1 win in the capital.

It was another blistering start from Jill Ellis’ side after Megan Rapinoe netted her third goal in two matches with a low-drive free-kick that whizzed past Sarah Bouaddi between the sticks with only five minutes on the clock.

And the Seattle Reign forward would be at it again after the restart, firing home in the 65th minute to complete her brace, and despite a late Wendie Renard header, her efforts were enough to send USA through.

It was a hard-fought battle at the Parc des Princes, but how did the players rate?

France

Sarah Bouaddi – 5 –  Could have done better for the opening goal, but redeemed herself slightly as the match went on with some brave rushes off the line and a few key saves.

Marion Torrent – 4 – Had the difficult task of trying to contain Rapinoe, and while she stood up to the task at times, the USWNT forward had far too much freedom to cause trouble.

Griedge Mbock Bathy – 5 – Conceded the early, decisive, free-kick that led to the Stars and Stripes’ first goal, and had a few jittery moments when trying to play out from the back.

Wendie Renard – 6 – It was heading for another underwhelming performance from France’s main centre-back after she was caught out horrendously for USA’s second goal, but recovered well with a thumping header in the last 10 minutes.

Amel Majri – 7 – France’s main spark from defence, Majri surged forward at every possible opportunity and gave Heath a strong battle on the byline.

Amandine Henry – 6 – Les Bleues’ skipper tried to bring a rhythm and cohesion to the middle of the park, and while she certainly succeeded at times, the 29-year-old struggled to consistently create going forward.

Goetane Thiney – 6 – Had a few positive moments, the slipped through ball to Gauvin a notable highlight, as well as the cross for Renard, but she struggled to really link up with Gauvin which, ultimately, was her main task.

Elise Bussaglia – 6  – Like Henry, the duo looked to assert control in the centre of the pitch, and while they saw plenty of the ball,  there was a lack of penetration and intensity in trying to get the ball forward.

Kadidiatou Diani – 5 – Had a few shining moments, but really had a difficult time trying to get beyond Dunn, who triumphed in this individual battle.

Valerie Gauvin – 4 – Exceptionally quiet, the 23-year-old would have been hoping to leave a lasting impression in the French capital, but only mustered 17 touches before coming off.

Eugenie Le Sommer – 5 – Another who demonstrated a few glittering flickers of her innate talent, but the attack is where France really came unstuck this evening, and Le Sommer was certainly guilty of that lack of spark.

Substitutes:

Delphine Cascarino (for Gauvin 76) – 5 – Offered more energy than Gauvin but couldn’t find the key equaliser.

Viviane Asseyi (for Le Sommer 82) – N/A – Came on in the closing stages.

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USA

Alyssa Naeher – 6 – Not much Naeher could have done to prevent Renard’s late header, but other than that, she appeared a composed presence in the USA goal.

Kelley O’Hara – 6 – There wasn’t much action down the right, with the battle between Dunn and Diani dominating the match, but when threatened she seemed to handle herself well, save from a few times Majri got in behind.

Abby Dahlkemper – 7 – Done well to keep Gauvin quiet, but she can have the USA midfield shield in front of her to thank for that, otherwise a more resilient performance.

Becky Sauerbrunn – 7 – A strong presence at the back, the 34-year-old showed her experience tonight and kept an iron nerve when France ramped up the pressure after the restart.

Crystal Dunn – 8 – A star performance from the left-back, Dunn was imperious against Diani, crunching into challenges, and keeping up with her lightning legs, not to mention getting forward herself where possible.

Rose Lavelle – 6 – Played a diligent role in USA’s midfield trident, looking tidy in possession and composed on the ball without producing anything spectacular.

Julie Ertz – 7 – Anchored the midfield commendably well. USA have looked shaky at the back in recent times, but Ertz ensured that wouldn’t be the case tonight as she shuffled around the pitch breaking play up.

Samantha Mewis – 8 – An exceptionally combative and industrious performance. Alongside Ertz, the duo made sure France wouldn’t breach through the middle, with Mewis completing more tackles than any midfield player on the pitch, as well as registering the most recoveries and duels won than any of her teammates.

Tobin Heath – 7 – Started slowly, but grew into the game and started to demonstrate a real fluency in the second-half as USA continued their attacking movement up top.

Alex Morgan – 6 – A quieter match for Morgan, but still played an important role in keeping France’s deadly defensive duo busy, showing plenty of heart, grit and determination.

Megan Rapinoe – 9 – Provided the goods against Spain, and once again, turned on the charm when her teammates needed her. The experienced forward was a perpetual problem on the left, broke the deadlock to ease early nerves, and rounded off the match with a consecutive brace.

Substitutes:

Lindsey Horan (for Lavelle 62) – 6 – Provided fresh legs and certainly done a lot of running in the middle of the park upon her introduction.

Carli Lloyd (for Mewis 82) – N/A – Came on in the closing stages to see the match out.

Christen Press (for Rapinoe 88) – N/A – Came on with only a few minutes left.

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