USA Beats France, Will Face Japan for World Cup Championship

| by Alex Groberman

Team USA's 3-1 victory over France on Wednesday may not have been as dramatic as the one they earned over Brazil in the last round, but it was far more meaningful. Thanks to the efforts of Lauren Cheney, Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan, the American side secured a much-needed win and locked in their slot to face Japan for the 2011 Women’s World Cup title.

With the score tied 1-1 thanks to goals by Cheney for the U.S. and Sonia Bompastor for France, respectively, it looked like the Americans’ luck may have finally run out. All game long, the French side appeared to dominate possession, moving the ball with speed and efficiency. That coupled with their more rested legs -- U.S. played undermanned for much of the second half versus Brazil -- made it seem as if France was on the verge of ending of Team USA’s magical run through the tournament.

In the 79th minute, however, the never-say-die attitude of the U.S. which has popped out at opportune moments through the proceedings bubbled to the surface yet again. The last game’s unsung hero, Wambach, scored the go-ahead goal courtesy of an excellently delivered Cheney corner kick to put the U.S. side up for good. A mere three minutes late, the group’s young star, Morgan, put the game away for good – securing the American side’s position in Sunday’s championship game.

More details on match via the Associated Press available below.