Fresh off another round of back and forth with President Trump, Megan Rapinoe responded with a historic performance. The Reign FC midfielder became the first player in Women’s World Cup history to score a brace in consecutive games — in the knockout round no less — to lead the United States to a 2-1 win over hosts France on Thursday. The win puts the USA into the semifinals for the eighth straight time. The USA will play England on Tuesday.
The two goals also give Rapinoe five for the tournament, tied for the most. She also has three assists.
Rapinoe got the USA off to a blazing start, scoring on a free kick in the 5th minute. With the ball positioned just outside the penalty area, Rapinoe whipped in a ball through traffic that somehow missed everyone but also completely baffled the France goalkeeper.
DREAM START FOR THE USA! @mpinoe's free kick gets past everyone as the @USWNT takes an early lead once again! #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/K5oHYnCyvD— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 28, 2019
The USA rode that hot start into halftime, but France came out the much better team in the second half. France had several strong scoring chances, but couldn’t convert. In the 65th minute, Rapinoe made France pay when she finished off an excellent counter-attack, slamming home Tobin Heath’s cross through the box. It was her eighth career World Cup goal.
MORGAN ➡️ HEATH ➡️ RAPINOE— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 28, 2019
A wonderful team goal doubles the @USWNT's lead! #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/B9OGQIKzSP
For a moment, it appeared as though the USA had a third goal when Heath finished off a Crystal Dunn pass, but it was ruled offside.
Wendie Renard pulled France to within 2-1 in the 81st minute when she got open for a header off a free kick. It looked like Les Bleus had a decent shout at a penalty in the 85th minute when a ball struck Kelley O’Hara’s arm in the 85th minute, but it was waved off.