Wambach 48, Boxx 57, Lilly 60
World Cup 2007, Quarter Final
1pm (BST), Saturday 22 September 2007
Tianjin Olympic Centre,
By Stuart Mawhinney in Tianjin. Saturday, 22 September 2007.
While the Three Lions held America until half time, Hope Powell's side were undone by three goals in the space 13 minutes that knocked the stuffing out of their hopes of making the last four.
Abby Wambach, the USA striker with deadly accuracy, was on the scoresheet first with a trademark back post header only three minutes after the interval. Eight minutes later the lead was doubled as Shannon Boxx broke from midfield to drill home a left-footed shot from 20 yards out.
The contest was effectively over when a long clearance from Hope Solo bounced over Rachel Brown on the hour mark, with Kristine Lilly taking full advantage and prodding home from close range. It was harsh on England as the scoreline failed to reflect the contest, but America are worthy winners and will now meet either Brazil or Australia in Hangzhou on Thursday.
Karen Carney came into the starting line up from the team that faced Argentina on Monday, while Katie Chapman returned from suspension to replace the suspended Fara Williams.
The first half was a nervous affair, mirroring the tense atmosphere in Shanghai as England took on Germany in their second game of Group A. Both sides were reluctant to abandon defensive duties to attempt more creative constructions, in the circumstances of a potential World Cup semi final it was understandable.
Rachel Brown was called into action with eleven minutes on the clock as a loose cross from the left deflects off the boot of Karen Carney. Brown shows great courage to dive at the feet of Kristine Lilly and smother any chance of shot for the American captain.
Two minutes later Kelly Smith produced a magical turn in the corner of the pitch to beat two American defenders, but just as she reached the goal she was crowded out and USA win a goal kick.
The main action came in the last ten minutes of the half as Faye White caught a stray, but unintentional, elbow from Abby Wambach and needed treatment, and then America produced two chances that Rachel Brown had to be alive to with Lilly and O'Reilly going close.
After the interval America were far more clinical and sealed the contest with three goals in 13 minutes, first Wambach then Boxx and decisively their captain Lilly scored to seal their place in the last four.
England can be proud of what they achieved in these finals however; with their spirit, determination and attacking approach winning fans in Asia and around the world. Teams:
USA: 18 Hope Solo, 3 Christine Rampone, 4 Cat Whitehill, 7 Shannon Boxx (11 Carli Lloyd 82), 9 Heather O'Reilly, 12 Leslie Osbourne, 13 Kristine Lilly (c), 14 Stephanie Lopez, 15 Kate Markgraf, 17 Lori Chalupny, 20 Abby Wambach (6 Natasha Kai 86)
Substitutes: 1 Briana Scurry, 2 Marian Dalmy, 5 Lindsay Tarpley, 8 Tina Ellertson, 10 Aly Wagner, 16 Angela Hucles, 19 Marci Jobson, 21 Nicole Barnhart
Coach: Greg Ryan
England: 1 Rachel Brown, 2 Alex Scott, 3 Casey Stoney, 4 Katie Chapman, 5 Faye White (c), 6 Mary Phillip (18 Lianne Sanderson 81), 7 Karen Carney, 9 Eniola Aluko (11 Rachel Yankey 46), 10 Kelly Smith, 12 Anita Asante, 16 Jill Scott
Substitutes: 13 Siobhan Chamberlain, 14 Rachel Unitt, 15 Sue Smith, 17 Jody Handley, 19 Vicky Exley, 20 Lindsay Johnson, 21 Carly Telford
Coach: Hope Powell