Reigning Champions Rain On France’s Parade

The current Womens World Cup Champions do it all again and show the rest of the world, exactly why that title belongs to them. 

This morning, at 5am AEST, I woke up to watch my first game, since the Tilda’s played their last game… “this coulda been us” I thought as I sat there with 3 layers of clothes and 3 more blankets, a hot water bottle and a dangerous amount of coffee that COULD have killed me. (I like to live dangerously).

BUT ALAS, it wasn’t Green and Gold this time, but Blue, Red and White…on both sides, now that I think about both national team flags and colours…

It was France vs. USA for a spot in the semi finals, and if you’ve been living under a rock and have had no clue what has been happening, this is THE GAME to watch. It was payback time since France pumped the US, 3 – 1, the last time these two sides met. It was also a grand chance to make the host country even prouder, by taking a semi finals place.

Which side would win? Hard to tell before kick off, as both sides have proven to be a hell of a force to reckon with, so far, throughout the competition.

But ya know what, you just have to wait 5 minutes into the game and you’ll get your answer.

It’s Megan “I’m not going to the f*cking White House” Rapinoe, mon ami’s! The American Striker with 49 National team goals to her name, scoring from a free kick that makes it’s way past every – single – player , in the box nutmegging Frances star, Amandine Henry on the way in, over the bridge, through the forest and into the back of the net.

1 – 0 to the USA, leaving France in the dust, early on.

BUT as we continue the game, it starts to show that even though the US are a bloody amazing team, they’re not as strong as we expected, with France knocking on the door more than once in the first half. The US are finding it difficult to keep possession as France play the ball around like it’s strung to their feet.

This continues as we end the first half with the US still in front. France can turn this around, surely, with the line up that they have, as well as the results they have produced in the tournament already, they are NOT a side to be underestimated. So, hold onto that thought, we’ll come back to it later…but not before we speak about the second half and the SECOND BLOODY GOAL!

It’s the Holy Trinity of the US Womens National team who link up to create something beautiful. The ball is held calmly by Morgan, as a run by Tobin Heath is made to give Alex Morgan an option. It’s passed to Heath and she runs towards the box, positioning herself on the right hand side, a bit too close for comfort for the French keeper and swarmed by an oncoming French defender. We all know damn well when this happens, it means she’s ready for one of her famous low crosses that makes you think there’s NO WAY she’s able to angle that ball well enough to pass to a player, but she does. And who else is there to collect the ball and smash the goddamn thing into the back of the net for a second time?

Capitano Rapinoe!

Rapinoe is completely ignored as the left hand side of the box is left forgotten and wide open. All eyes on Tobin Heath as Rapinoe makes her way behind to make it 2 – 0, and the USA are SAFE as can be, on the 68th minute.

France attempt to recover wth Le Summer and Henry peppering the USA goals, but nothing is strong enough to crack Alyssa Naeher. THIS IS, until the 80th minute, where a free kick is gifted to France.

Remember how I said to hold that thought?

Lined up and ready, with the tallest player in the comp gathered in a sea of White and Navy Blue, it’s Wendie Renard who pulls one back for France, making the Parc de Princes ERUPT! There is hope for the French to turn it to extra time or maybe even a win!

As there was another chance to make it 2 – 2 from a Penalty, the opportunity was waved away by the Referee AND the VAR! (WHAT A VARCKIN SURPRISE!) A clear hand ball (by my eyes and evERYONE ELSE WATCHING THE DAMN GAME), by O’Hara was waved as ‘unintentional’, which pissed a lot of the French population off, as you can imagine.

The game plays on and in the dying minutes of the match, it does look to turn to France to give it one more crack, or 2. As 5 minutes of injury time is added, and anything can happen in injury time, we should know…. (Italy…), the American hold on, the whistle is blown an the US make it into another Semi Finals stage while the Tournament Hosts are shown the exit, after a 2 – 1 result.

A heart filled performance from France, even though they came out second. I may not have been anywhere near the stadium, nor the country, but you could feel the electricity in that atmosphere through the Optus Sports coverage, as a proud stadium filled with supporters, chanted and sung for not just the USA and their victory, but also the pride and strength the French Womens National Team gave in this competition.

It will be the USA taking on the Lionesses of England, 2 massive powerhouses.

I, for one, am on the fence over who to support here. But I can already let you know who MichelleMorrisTV is going to be supporting. Anyone but the USA.

By Christina Trajceska

Reigning Champions Rain On France’s Parade

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