U.S. too strong for China, reaches another World Cup semifinals

Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:51pm EDT
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By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The United States maintained their record of having reached every semi-final of the women's World Cup after their 1-0 win over China on Friday set up a last four encounter with Germany.

The Americans came into the quarter-final in Ottawa missing two key players through suspension but proved far too strong for a young, defensively-minded Chinese side, who seemed more and more intimidated as the game went on.

Captain Carli Lloyd scored the winner in the 51st minute, jumping high to head home a long looping cross from defender Julie Johnston.

Ali Krieger also hit the post with a drive in the 73rd minute.

The win earned the Americans a semi-final slot next Tuesday in Montreal against Germany, who earlier beat France on penalties after their game finished 1-1 after extra time.

"I think it was a very good performance tonight ... the players have a good feeling leaving the field and that will help buoy us going into the Germany game," said coach Jill Ellis.

After being criticized for sluggish play earlier in the tournament, the United States looked much sharper and pressured the Chinese from the start, with only some wayward finishing preventing them from scoring several goals.

World Cup winners in 1991 and 1999, the Americans showed no signs of being hampered by the suspensions of first-choice midfielders Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe.   Continued...

Jun 26, 2015; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; United States midfielder Carli Lloyd (10) celebrates her goal with teammates against China during the second half in the quarterfinals of the FIFA 2015 Women's World Cup at Lansdowne Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports