The US women's football team took down its toughest tournament competition to date in a commanding 2-0 score over Germany to make the finals of the Women's World Cup. The US faces the winner of the England-Japan semifinal.
Carli Lloyd scored on a second-half penalty kick and passed to Kelley O'Hara who made the clinching goal in the 84th minute. Lloyd drove in the first goal just minutes after Germany's Celia Sasic completely missed the net on her own penalty kick.
Lloyd was also the one who delivered the winning goal in the team's quarterfinal win over China. She has become the player of the World Cup after she was freed from her midfield position to roam forward, seeking out goal chances.
But the Yanks had some luck, too. Lloyd's penalty kick in the 69th minute probably should not have been a penalty, notes the New York Times. Replays showed forward Alex Morgan was fouled just outside the box and then fell in.
Goalie Hope Solo recorded her fifth straight shutout. She has been scored on only once in a first-half score by Australia in the team's tournament opener.
The generally lacklustre team earlier in the tournament has resurrected with new drive and energy and seems to be gaining a powerful momentum.
"They played their hearts out," said coach Jill Ellis in an interview after the game.
The US won two of the first three World Cups but lost the 2011 title game to Japan.
The team is facing the victor of the semifinal Sunday 5 July in Vancouver.