United States Advances to WWC Semifinals with 1-0 Win over China PR

The United States advanced to the semifinals of the 2015 Women’s World Cup after defeating China PR, 1-0, in the quarterfinals in front of a capacity crowd of 26,500 at Lansdowne Stadium in Ottawa, Ontario.

It was a decidedly more energetic U.S. team that took the field with three changes to the starting lineup. Amy Rodriguez got the nod in place of Abby Wambach and almost put the U.S. in the opening minutes but her outside-of-the-foot shot went wide of the goal.

Without starters Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe, both suspended due to yellow card accumulation, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis opted for Morgan Brian and Kelley O’Hara in the midfield.

It was O’Hara’s first World Cup start and she wasted no time, blasting a shot over the crossbar in the 8th minute.

Despite the attack-minded focus, the two teams went into halftime deadlocked at zero. The U.S. tallied 11 shots in the first half, with 3 on goal, while China PR got 4 shots off though none on frame.

The scoring breakthrough came in the 51st minute when Carli Lloyd’s header found the back of the net. Serving in the ball was defender Julie Johnston, who notched her first career assist. Lloyd, serving as team captain, earned her 200th cap and fourth career World Cup goal on the night.

Here’s Lloyd’s goal captured in still images by Cynthia Hobgood. It’s a unique ground-level view of her reaction.

The U.S. backline remained resolute, earning the fourth straight clean sheet and increasing its streak of holding opponents scoreless to 433 minutes in this World Cup. It is the longest U.S. clean-sheet streak in U.S. history.

The U.S. faces Germany in the semifinals on June 30 in Montréal, Quebec. It is the seventh straight time the U.S. has reached the semifinals of the Women’s World Cup.

FIFA Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Carli Lloyd (USA)

All images courtesy of Cynthia Hobgood.

[divider]About the Photographer[/divider]

Cynthia Hobgood is a Washington, DC-based digital communications consultant, photographer and writer. Hobgood started covering soccer as a journalist in 2000 for weekly/daily publications and ultimately, the Associated Press (while also covering other pro and NCAA sports primarily in the DC area.) She previously helped launch a national youth sports nonprofit and started Full 90 Communications earlier this year. Hobgood has a master’s degree in sports management from The George Washington University School of Business and master of arts degree in English from Baylor University.