Mistreated by a dangerous Spanish team, the American footballers impose on two penalties. They will face France on Friday in World Cup 2019 quarter-finals.
The long-awaited match between France and the United States will take place: the Americans manhandled until the last quarter of the game, finally managed to overcome Spain (2-1) thanks to two penalties, Monday in Reims, to qualify for the quarter-finals of the 2019 World Cup .
To see the extreme difficulty of ” Team USA ” to gain the upper hand on an amazing Spanish selection, France can legitimately believe in their chances to achieve the feat in front of their public Friday (9pm) at the Parc des Princes (Paris).
The holders of the titles have indeed experienced all the trouble in the world to snatch in extremis their qualification thanks to Megan Rapinoe, author of a double on penalty (6th, 76th).
After conceding their first goal of the tournament by Jennifer Hermoso (9th), the Americans have benefited from the use of video assistance (VAR) late in the game to make the decision.
With this success without shining, their first round, with 18 goals scored and no-fault against Thailand (13-0), Chile (3-0) and Sweden (2-0), is more than an old story.
Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, foul on the Spanish goal, was feverish, while star Alex Morgan, who has almost no ball, has become ghostly. Even Jill Ellis, who can boast of having the “second best team in the world” on her bench, did not seem inspired to restore confidence to her players.
Enough to undermine the incredible psychological advantage, which the Americans enjoyed since the beginning of the competition. For Corinne Deacon and the staff of Les Bleues, the American weak points appeared in broad daylight.
Yet the scenario of a one-sided match seemed already written after five minutes of play.
On an incursion of twirling Tobin Heath, the USA quickly got a penalty. Teammate Megan Rapinoe did not miss the opportunity to open the scoring in a stadium that was largely acquired by “Team USA” (1-0, 6th).
But on a huge double error, first of the goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who was slow to raise when there was no pressure, then the defender Becky Sauerbrunn, guilty of a bad pass, Jennifer Hermoso has taken advantage to equalize in stride (1-1, 9th).
Under constant pressure from the Americans, masters of the field and the ball, the Spanish managed to hold the comparison, despite the rain of adverse opportunities.
At the return of the locker room, it is even the teammates of Irene Paredes who have been the most dangerous, playing their shots thoroughly like this cons concluded by Lucia Garcia (53), or the shooting shot of Patri Guijarro (63), which caused a shiver among the more than 10,000 American fans.
But referee Katalin Kulcsar, already generous on the first penalty, has again tipped the game by making a very favourable decision to the Americans after the very slight fault of Virginia Torrecilla on Rose Lavelle in its surface (70th).
Ulcerated, the Spanish claimed the VAR. After a long viewing, which required several zooms and different angles to report the mowing, the Hungarian referee maintained his decision.
Megan Rapinoe, imperial in the exercise, was able to give the advantage to his team (2-1, 76th) against the course of the game. A precious success, at the price of a heavy price: the loss of the label of favourite team.