The French recorded 25 shots in comparison to the United States’ 11, but it was the Americans who took the lead after just nine minutes; with a deft finish at the near post. Being a goal down didn’t deter an enterprising Les Bleus side, who poured players forward, with PUMA Football star Marie-Laure Delie going close. Despite the efforts of both sides the score remained unchanged at half-time.
Early in the second-half, the French grabbed an equalizer courtesy of a cross-cum-shot that eluded the US keeper and crashed in off the post. Over the following 20 minutes both sides produced some scintillating, high-tempo football before the US took the lead once more; via a headed goal from a corner.
A couple of minutes later the game was made safe with another incisive finish from the US. Although 3-1 may look like a comprehensive victory it was anything but, and the French made their opponents work exceptionally hard for the win. Amy Rodriguez enjoyed a good game for her country and is just 90 minutes away from being a World Cup winner!
In the other semi-final, Japan overcame Sweden 3-1 after Josefine Oqvist had given Sweden an early lead, pouncing on an under hit back-pass. The Swedes who boasted a 100% record in the tournament then allowed Japan back into the game via a deflected own goal following sustained pressure from Japan.
The Japanese side who have impressed everyone with their pace and technique at this year’s tournament then took the lead on 60 minutes after the Swedish goalkeeper failed to claim a cross, presenting Japan will a simple headed goal. A couple of minutes later the result was put beyond doubt as the Swedish goalkeeper again, did not clear the ball properly, presenting Japan with a empty net from 35 meters.
On Sunday, Japan will be playing in their first ever World Cup final against a USA side looking for a record breaking third win! Who’s your tip for the final? Let us know what you think in the comments or join the conversation on twitter using the #PUMAFootball and #WomensWorldCup hashtags.