World Cup Daily: Germany pay the penalty as USA make record fourth World Cup final
The United States reached the final of the women's soccer World Cup for the second time in a row on Tuesday, taking advantage of a dubious penalty to beat top-ranked Germany 2-0 in a hugely enjoyable game.
PLAY OF THE DAY
Kelley O'Hara comes off the bench and puts the USA into another Women's World Cup final. Fellow substitute Abby Wambach does well to hold the ball up in the corner, then there's some neat passing as USA take advantage of the space they are given before Carli Lloyd puts in the decisive ball for O'Hara to prod home.
MATCHDAY IN SUMMARY
Germany 0 USA 2: The USA may secretly feel very fortunate after this result – but it's no accident that their luck improved when they began to play better. This was the best they've looked during the tournament, and if they were fortunate that Julie Johnston wasn't sent off for bringing down Alexandra Popp and that the referee gave a penalty when Alex Morgan was fouled outside the box, well, them's the breaks. Kelley O'Hara's goal a few minutes from time had nothing fortunate about it – that was simply good teamwork, the likes of which the USA have been loath to demonstrate so far this World Cup. Germany head home and Silvia Neid's glorious reign comes to a close.
United States midfielder Carli Lloyd (10) with team-matesReuters
Amidst the frantic serious discussion about the ridiculousness of the tournament's kick-off times, England head coach Mark Sampson put his name to a gimmick which demonstrates just how much this Women's World Cup has caught people's attention.
The 'Lie-In For The Lionesses' form asks employers to allow their staff to rock up to work an hour or so late on Thursday morning so they're not too tired after watching England take on Japan. That World Cup semi-final – in Edmonton – is likely to finish around 2am BST, assuming it doesn't go to extra-time. (Your correspondent's recommendation, assuming you don't have a boss who's easily swayed by internet lols? Take a short nap of around 90 minutes in the hours between 8pm and 10.30pm – no longer – and you'll be fully refreshed and wide awake for the start of Eurosport's coverage at 11.45pm BST.)
TWEET OF THE DAY
A nice farewell to Silvia Neid, who's served as a fine manager for Germany over a decade after her long career as a player. She hands over now to Steffi Jones, who'll have the job of building a successful Germany team for the next generation.
We have one World Cup finalist – who will be the other? England are the underdogs as they take on the defending champions Japan. It'll be tactical planning v technical prowess, and should be an intriguing contrast in styles.