Speed Reads

survive and advance

U.S. holds on 2-1 against England to advance to World Cup final

One more game.

That's all the U.S. women's national soccer team needs to defend their 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup title after defeating England 2-1 in the semifinal of the 2019 tournament on Tuesday in Lyon.

Christen Press and Alex Morgan scored for the U.S. in the 10th and 31st minute, respectively, with England's lone goal by Ellen White sandwiched in between. But while the scoring belonged to the first half, the second half was arguably more dramatic.

The U.S. was both aided and nearly harmed by the controversial VAR system. First, White appeared to have knotted the game up at two in the 69th minute, but after going to review, the referee determined White was offsides. It was only by a smidge, but a smidge is enough with video review in play. In the 83rd minute, though, VAR almost came back to bite the U.S. when England was awarded a penalty in the box after a review.

But U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher remained — as the late, great Stuart Scott would say — as cool as the other side of the pillow to preserve the lead.

The U.S. can breathe easy for a day or two after holding on, but they now await the winner of the Netherlands and Sweden, who will face off tomorrow in the second semifinal. The Women's World Cup finals will take place on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.