Women’s World Cup semifinals
USA vs. France
Where: Moenchengladbach, Germany.
When: noon ET.
TV/live video: ESPN, Galavision, CBC, ESPN3.com
All-time series: USA 11 victories, 0 losses, 1 draw. Goals for 38, goals against 8.
Previous meeting: March 13, 2006 in Portugal, 4-1 USA.
In the build-up to the match, Post correspondent Michael Birnbaum profiles Abby Wambach, the former Washington Freedom striker who has won Olympic gold but never a World Cup title.
Soccer America’s Paul Kennedy offers an insightful look at the emerging French program.
The second semifinal will take place in Frankfurt at 2:45 p.m.: Sweden vs. Japan (ESPN, CBC, ESPN3.com).
USA lineup: Solo; Krieger, Sauerbrunn, Rampone, LePeilbet; O’Reilly, Boxx, Lloyd, Cheney; Wambach, Rodriguez.
Join me for minute-by-minute updates here on the Insider. Your pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts are warmly welcome in our comments section.
After the match, regardless of the outcome, Post colleague Paul Tenorio will host a live online chat.
FINAL — USA 3, France 1. Americans will play Sweden or Japan in Sunday’s final in Frankfurt, 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN.
90 — Two minutes of added time.
88 — Sapowicz, France’s greatest liability, makes excellent save on Morgan.
87 — Final USA substitution: Tobin Heath for O’Reilly.
85 — USA closing in on first appearance in Women’s World Cup since 1999.
82 — USA GOAL! Alex Morgan runs onto ball on the left, races into the box, lifts shot over keeper. 3-1.
81 — Le Sommer header narrowly wide of near post.
79 — USA GOAL! Wambach back-post header off Cheney’s corner kick. 2-1.
79 — Wambach down in the box on cross, but correctly, no call. Wambach initiated contact.
78 — Match creeping toward extra time. Both teams have gone there in this tournament.
75 — Match remains level, 1-1. Rapinoe has been influential since her introduction midway through the half.
73 — Americans seem to have caught their breath, regained a bit of rhythm. Into the stretch we go.....
70 — Rapinoe 32 yards off free kick, splendid save by Sapowicz!
67 — Midway through the second half, France with stranglehold on the match. Can the Americans absorb the relentless pressure and find their way?
65 — France consecutive corner kicks, no damage done.
65 — USA substitution: Megan Rapinoe for Carli Lloyd. Curious change.
62 — Krieger down with injury for second time, receiving treatment on sideline, USA playing with 10.
57 — France assault continues, so good with the ball, pressure building again.
56 — Alex Morgan replaces Amy Rodriguez on USA frontline.
55 — France goal! Bompastor, formerly with Washington Freedom, scores much-deserved equalizer. Lofts high cross from left flank, targeting Thiney making run deep into the box. Solo stays on her line. Thiney unable to nod it, but her effort freezes Solo just long enough to allow ball to settle into far corner. 1-1.
53 — Soubeyrand innocent 30-yard bid, appears to be sailing wide and high, but just to make sure, Solo pushes it out for corner kick.
50 — USA did not make any changes at halftime.
46th minute — Krieger recovers to disrupt promising opportunity for France at start of second half.
Halftime — USA 1, France 0. The French superior on the ball, technically gifted, but unable to find the equalizer. Lloyd’s two-way play key to Americans’ resistence and countering opportunities. Cheney goal, set up by O’Reilly, is the difference.
43 — France horrible corner kick, skips over end line before reaching the target.
40 — Wambach attempts to finish Boxx’s cross, involved in collision with Bompastor and goalkeeper — both French players being treated, both bac on feet.
38 — Wambach unable to finish acute-angled header at back post, skims off crossbar — great opportunity created by Rampone.
37 — Necib wonderful skill, leaves ball to Abily for bid from distance, sails over crossbar.
33 — Bompastor 20 yards off the crossbar!
30 — Solo with a slap save! No way this match ends 1-0, right? Wealth of opportunities for both sides.
28 — Bompastor sets up Abily inside box, low effort covered by Solo.
27 — Bussaglia tests Solo from distance, but routine save.
26 — USA corner kick, Cheney’s service punched ineffectively by keeper but eventually cleared.
24 — Lloyd header off corner kick misses a few yards wide of left post.
22 — Ian Darke said “argy-bargy.” My day is made.
21 — Is the upper deck of the stadium completely empty?
19 -- USA maintaining 1-0 lead on strength of Cheney’s goal and pressuring for a second. France finding space in the attacking third but only one serious threat against Solo.
17 — France consecutive corner kicks, Wambach powers header from danger.
15 — On Krieger free kick, France keeper comes off line, beaten to high ball by Wambach, whose header floats off target.
14 — USA pushing for another, O’Reilly unable to retain possession on end line.
9 — USA GOAL! Lloyd sets up O’Reilly on the left, drives low cross into the box, Cheney redirects into far corner. 1-0 USA.
9 — France maintaining pressure, so comfortable on the ball, confident in attack.
8 — France corner kick headed out by Boxx, Necib collects, stings a shot from beyond box, leaping touch save by Solo.
6 — Cheney’s clever work on left sets up Rodriguez, France slides ball clear. USA corner kick. Wambach, in congestion, header high and wide.
4 — France’s Sonia Bompastor, speedy left back/wing, was Freedom teammate with Wambach, Sauerbrunn, Krieger and Lori Lindsey.
1 — We’re underway from Moenchengladbach!
Kickoff moments away: Becky Sauerbrunn (U of Virginia, Washington Freedom) making her World Cup debut in central defense in place of suspended Rachel Buehler. (Buehler’s Day Off?)
Kickoff moments away: USA’s sixth consecutive semifinal appearance, France’s first.