US Advances to Women's World Cup Final without Megan Rapinoe

July 2, 2019

The U.S. Women's National Team survived two instant replays to defeat England 2-1 Tuesday to advance to the FIFA Women's World Cup Final Sunday in France. 

Leading 2-1 at halftime, it appeared the Americans surrendered a goal in the 69th minute to level the match; however, the referee used instant replay to determine England was offside by the slimmest of margins to take the goal off the scoreboard. 

In the 81st minute, England would get another chance. The referee reversed her initial decision on the field to call a foul in the box on the U.S. and grant England a penalty kick. Nevertheless, Team USA's goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made her biggest of three saves in the semifinal and perhaps the biggest of her career, diving to her right to stun England's Steph Houghton on the penalty kick. 

It is the first time one team has missed three penalty kicks in a single Women's World Cup, and it sent the United States to the Women's World Cup Final, where they await the winner of Sweden and The Netherlands. 

Alex Morgan headed the eventual game-winning goal in the 31st minute, after Christen Press opened the scoring for the Americans in the 10th minute. Press started in place of Megan Rapinoe for the red, white and blue. 

According to the FOX Sports broadcast, Rapinoe, the top scorer on the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team had a hamstring injury. She been making headlines for speaking out against President Donald Trump and the White House in recent weeks.

A team spokesperson reportedly refused to give an answer as to why she has been benched, when it was common for the team to make a comment when usual starters are left out of the lineup.

Rapinoe said last week, that she stands by previous comments that she would not visit the White House if the United States wins the Women's World Cup.

"I stand by the comments that I made about not wanting to go to the White House, with the exception of the expletive," she said. "My mom would be very upset about that."

Rapinoe spoke at a previously scheduled news conference a day after President Donald Trump called out the U.S. women's national team star on Twitter. Trump referenced a video that surfaced on Twitter in recent days, posting: "Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team."

Trump said he would invite the U.S. team "win or lose."

The Women's World Cup Final is Sunday at 11 A.M. ET.