The Sports Report: U.S. survives tough match against France

U.S. players celebrate
U.S. players celebrate after their 2-1 victory over France.
(Elsa Garrison / Getty Images)

Howdy, my name is Houston Mitchell and France is gone. Next is England. Is this soccer or a game of “Risk?”

Women’s World Cup

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)

Thursday’s result

England 3, Norway 0

Friday’s result

United States 2, France 1

Today’s schedule

Italy vs. Netherlands, 6 a.m., FS1

Germany vs. Sweden, 9:30 a.m., FS1

Semifinals (PDT)


England vs. U.S., noon, Fox


Italy/Netherlands winner vs. Germany/Sweden winner, noon, FS1

Third-place game

July 6, 8 a.m., Fox


July 7, 8 a.m., Fox

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Odds and ends

Your Lakers free agency guide…. Your Clippers free agency guide…. Magic Johnson as part of Lakers’ Kawhi Leonard free-agency pitch is a strange fit…. Days of NCAA having it both ways should be nearing an end…. Opening of Los Alamitos thoroughbred meeting brings unwanted scrutiny…. LAFC’s Pablo Sisniega grateful to be pursuing his dream after nearly dying…. New Kings coach Todd McLellan looks to unlock the door to success…. Clippers extend qualifying offers to Ivica Zubac and Rodney McGruder…. Dodgers-Rockies get in another slugfest in Denver…. Angels try to extend winning streak against Oakland….

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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

Born on this date

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

Died on this date

1967: Boxer Primo Carnera, 60

And finally

Pedro Guerrero goes three for five with five RBIs in 1981 World Series Game 6. Watch it here.

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