Rapinoe ready for showdown with 'confident' England

As the tournament reaches what promises to be a thrilling conclusion, one figure more than any other has come to dominate the headlines: U.S. co-captain Megan Rapinoe.

Heath then had a third goal disallowed for offside but France did not give up and set up a frenzied finale as they reduced the deficit nine minutes from time.

Next up for the holders are England on Tuesday in Lyon and that should prove an equally tough test.

Billed as the de facto Women's World Cup championship match - the quarterfinal fit for a final - US versus France lived up to hype Friday.

Her two goals helped eliminate France in what was the most anticipated match of this year's tournament and United States head coach Jill Ellis used her post-match press conference to heap praise on her co-captain.

The Women's World Cup is making history, and not just in the sports world. Rapinoe's response was to open the scoring with a fifth-minute free-kick and add the decisive second in the 65th.

Megan Rapinoe (R) of the U.S. celebrates with her teammates after scoring a goal during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup quarterfinal match against France on Friday in Paris, France.

The five goals have Rapinoe tied with teammate Alex Morgan and England striker Ellen White in the race for the golden boot.

This competitive spirit, as well as physical stature, is what the Americans will have to deal with in the quarterfinals. "It's a big step forward for French women's football".

Sixty-five minutes into the game, Rapinoe scored the second USA goal with a perfectly timed shot into the back of the post.

Facing a crisp opponent locked on knocking the queens off their throne en route to what would be a historic win on home soil, the USWNT knew they'd need a memorable performance to get past the French.

Meanwhile, a different US player has stolen the headlines.

Ellis praised the hosts, saying: "That's a fantastic team we played tonight, and that is the most intense match I have ever been a part of".

Attain England own the relaxation to anguish?

The women have done a lot better than their male counterparts in the past, winning the World Cup three times of the seven occasions it's been played, including the inaugural championships.

Nonetheless, the usa will launch as favourites on the 59,000-ability Parc Olympique Lyonnais next week after demonstrating in opposition to France why they are the dominant force in women's football.

"France is an incredible team".

Love HuffPost? Become a founding member of HuffPost Plus today.

"Some people can talk the talk but don't deliver - but not Rapinoe", said Neville, who will take charge of the GB team at the Tokyo Olympics next year.

"We are in great shape".

"We can not change our style because we think they're a special case", he said.

Les Bleues also reached the quarter-finals at the 2015 World Cup in Canada but fell to Germany on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

Since her debut on the Ladies's World Cup in 2011, Megan Rapinoe has been taking into consideration additional targets on the match than any other player (14 - eight targets, six assists).

  • Julie Sanders


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT