Sixteen years ago the U.S. women's national team took on China, winning in penalties to earn its second World Cup title. The Americans have successfully gotten by China again in their quest for No. 3.
The U.S., playing without the suspended Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday, took a 1-0 win on Carli Lloyd's 51st-minute goal, ousting China from the Women's World Cup in the quarterfinals and advancing to face Germany in Tuesday's semifinal. Germany advanced by outlasting France in penalty kicks 5-4 after a 1-1 draw.
Lloyd, donning the captain's armband with both Christie Rampone and Abby Wambach not starting, tallied her second goal of the tournament with a header off Julie Johnston's cross, breaking a scoreless deadlock. The U.S. defense held strong from there and made the lead stand up, extending its shutout streak to 423 minutes in the process.
The Americans had a chance to go ahead well earlier than they did, in the second minute, with Lloyd playing Amy Rodriguez through the center. Rodriguez, who got the start in place of Wambach, shanked her 1-v-1 effort with China goalkeeper Wang Fei, though. Johnston also had a chance cleared off the line and a header go just over the bar, and Lloyd had a blistering free kick saved as the Americans' best chances in the opening scoreless 45 minutes.
In addition to Rodriguez, Morgan Brian and Kelley O'Hara were other changes that Jill Ellis made to her starting lineup. O'Hara had a solid chance in the first half as well, with her diving header off Tobin Heath's cross going just wide of the frame.
The USA and Germany each have won two Women's World Cups, and after Tuesday night in Montreal, one of them will have the chance to play for a record third.
Here's how the match unfolded:
DEFENDERS: Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS: Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
GOALKEEPERS: 1-Zhang Yue (Beijing Chengjian), 12-Wang Fei (FFC Turbine Potsdam), 22-Zhao Lina (Shanghai Women)
DEFENDERS: 2-Liu Shanshan (Hebei), 4-Li Jiayue (Shanghai Women), 5-Wu Haiyan (Shandong Huangming), 6-Li Dongna (Suwon FMC), 9-Wang Shanshan (Tianjin Huisen)
MIDFIELDERS: 3-Pang Fengyue (Dalian Shide), 7-Xu Yanlu (Jiangsu Huatai), 8-Ma Jun (Daejeon Sportstoto WFC), 11-Wang Shuang (Wuhan Jaingda Univ.), 13-Tang Jiali (Shanghai Women), 15-Lei Jiahui (Henan Steel), 18-Peng Han (Tianjin Juisen), 19-Tan Ruyin (Guangdong FC), 20-Zhang Rui (Army Club), 21-Wang Lisi (Jiangsu Huatai), 23-Ren Guixin (Changchun Zhuoyue)
FORWARDS: 10-Li Ying (Shandong Huangming), 14-Zhao Rong (Beijing Baxy), 16-Lou Jiahui (Henan Jianye FC), 17-Gu Yahsa (Beijing Chengjian)