Howdy, my name is Houston Mitchell and France is gone. Next is England. Is this soccer or a game of “Risk?”
In a match that should have been the World Cup final and not a quarterfinal, the U.S. got two goals from Megan Rapinoe and held off a tough, impressive team from France to advance to the World Cup semifinals with a 2-1 victory in Paris.
“In a World Cup, you need to be able to win pretty and win dirty,” defender Becky Sauerbrunn said. And sometimes you just have to put in a hard shift.
“Tonight was one of those nights were you put in a hard shift.”
The U.S. now has a 10-game winning streak in World Cup play.
Rapinoe’s first goal came in the fifth minute on a free kick through traffic and the second an hour later when Rapinoe, trailing the play, scooped up a pass that had evaded Sam Mewis in the center of the box and blasted it into the lower left corner.
“We play with a lot of heart and a lot of guts,” defender Kelley O’Hara said. “We can be blue collar if we need to be. Trust me.”
Wendie Renard scored for France in the 81st minute, and the host country’s team applied a lot of late pressure but could not score the tying goal.
Playing before a hometown crowd of 45,595, the largest of this World Cup, the French outshot the U.S. 20-10 and had the ball 60% of the time. The U.S. had dominated both statistics in its first four games here.
“The surge of momentum from the fans, at times it was tsunami,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said.
“I’ve been very fortunate to be in some pretty amazing, amazing games,” added Sauerbrunn. “But I’ll put this top 10.”
Quarterfinal results/schedule (PDT)
United States 2, France 1
Italy vs. Netherlands, 6 a.m., FS1
Germany vs. Sweden, 9:30 a.m., FS1
England vs. U.S., noon, Fox
Italy/Netherlands winner vs. Germany/Sweden winner, noon, FS1
What is your favorite sports moment?
Something new to open up this newsletter and make it more reader interactive: What is your favorite all-time L.A. sports moment? Click here to tell me what it is and why, and I’ll start running them in future newsletters. And yes, if your favorite moment is about the Angels or Ducks or a team just outside of L.A., I’ll count that too. And the moment doesn’t have to have happened in L.A., just needs to involve an area team.
We have received several great stories from you and will start sharing them on Monday.
We also have other newsletters you can subscribe to for free. They are emailed to you and we don’t sell your name to other companies, so no spam from us. They are:
Monday’s local sports schedule
Dodgers at Colorado, 5:15 p.m., Fox, AM 570
Oakland at Angels, 7 p.m., FSW, KLAA 830
Galaxy at San Jose, 7 p.m., Spectrum Sportsnet
1936: Baseball player Harmon Killebrew
1936: Figure skater David Jenkins
1949: Football player/sportscaster Dan Dierdorf
1954: Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt
1956: Former Dodger Pedro Guerrero
1958: Marathoner Rosa Mota
1968: NHL player Theo Fleury
1971: NHL player Mike Sillinger
1973: Cyclist George Hincapie
1980: Race car driver Martin Truex Jr.
1991: NBA player Kawhi Leonard
1967: Boxer Primo Carnera, 60
Pedro Guerrero goes three for five with five RBIs in 1981 World Series Game 6. Watch it here.
That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email us here. If you want to subscribe, click here.