2015 WWC: ’99 Rematch – US on to the Semis after a 1-0 win over China

29 Jun

A much better showing by the Americans in a quarter final match against China. A big shake up in the line up brought new creativity and pace to the match and had an excitement that we had yet to see in this tournament from the American women.

Amy Rodriguez started up front and Kelly O’Hara made her first start in midfield and both were extremely active throughout the match. Some commentary mentioned that the women had to up their game due to Rapinoe’s suspension but whatever the reason, the pace was strong and it felt more like the American women we’ve seen in the past.

It was wonderful to see A-Rod so full of confidence and good play. She had an early shot within the first two minutes but went for a trickier shot than necessary and it went wide. Throughout the first half she had a very strong presence and great speed.

134360711_14353761374211nChina+v+United+States+Quarter+Final+FIFA+Women+g5b62rUHzP3l478675336-333x224In the meantime, Kelly O’Hara was super in midfield and rallied the troops to overwhelm the Chinese midfield and defense nearly to the point of exhaustion. She too had an early shot which went over the net.

The teamwork of Heath, Brian, O’Hara and Rodriquez  in the 20th minute had the Chinese defense in fits and though the final shot went off target,  the coordinated play between midfield and the front runners kept coming throughout the half. The Chinese could only react to the waves of attacks. Bad clearances and rough tackles started to come into play. There was a particularly rough foul on Julie Johnston by Lou Jiahui which the ref couldn’t see.

OTTAWA, ON - JUNE 26:  Lou Jiahui #16 of China and Julie Johnston #19 of the United States collide in the first half in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 Quarter Final match at Lansdowne Stadium on June 26, 2015 in Ottawa, Canada.  (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

OTTAWA, ON – JUNE 26: Lou Jiahui #16 of China and Julie Johnston #19 of the United States collide in the first half in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 Quarter Final match at Lansdowne Stadium on June 26, 2015 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

Carli Lloyd had a strong shot on goal which appeared to hurt the Chinese keeper’s wrists, though she was able to continue.

OTTAWA, ON - JUNE 26: Goalkeeper Wang Fei #12 of China looks on as Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States takes a free kick in the first half as Ren Guixin #23 and Han Peng #18 of China form a wall in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 Quarter Final match at Lansdowne Stadium on June 26, 2015 in Ottawa, Canada.  (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

OTTAWA, ON – JUNE 26: Goalkeeper Wang Fei #12 of China looks on as Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States takes a free kick in the first half as Ren Guixin #23 and Han Peng #18 of China form a wall in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 Quarter Final match at Lansdowne Stadium on June 26, 2015 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

So, the second half starts and right before the whistle, we see Abby Wambach giving the pep talk to the group and she uses a bit of salty language to encourage a goal. In the 51st minute, Carli Lloyd, on the occasion of her 200th cap, got a super ball from Johnston and heads the ball down, making it hard for the tall Wang Fei to get.

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After the goal, the pace tended to slow a bit. Kelly O’Hara kept up the pressure, having to leave the game for a bit with a bloody nose after a collision. Possession was much better but again, the US still seemed to struggle with making the most of the final touches and finishing goal scoring opportunities.

Kudos to the Chinese who looked exhausted but fought to the bitter end. This young team is another example of what federation support (or lack of) can do for a team.

The US face the Germans on Tuesday in Montreal and they will have Rapinoe back with her creativity and speed. Add that to the flair of Kelly O’Hara and Amy Rodriguez and we may just have something. But if the US goes back to leaving all creative play to Rapinoe and only serve the balls into Abby Wambach’s head, the Germans will have no problem sending the US packing. Here’s hoping for a few lessons learned.

Here are some highlights:

Line ups

US:

Solo, Krieger, Johnston, Sauerbrunn, Klingenberg, O’Hara (Press), Brian, Lloyd (captain), Heath, Rodriguez (Wambach,) Morgan (O’Reilly)

China:

Wang Fei, Wu Haiyan (Captain), Zhao Rong, Li Dongna, Liu Shanshan, Wang Lisi, Tan Ruyin (Pang Fengyue), Lou, Jiahui (Wang Shuhuang), Ren Guixin, Han Peng (Tang Jiali), Wang Shanshan

Attendance: 24,141 Ottawa

2 Responses to “2015 WWC: ’99 Rematch – US on to the Semis after a 1-0 win over China”

  1. hopechaser June 29, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

    Okay, guess I’ll go delete the recap draft I started. Lol

  2. mygypsyspirit June 30, 2015 at 11:28 am #

    I thought we looked LOADS better with A-Rod and Kelly and I hope that Jill keeps that lineup, tbh

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