The United States played against China in the quarterfinal of the 2015 Women’s World Cup this Friday and beat them 1-0 with a goal from midfielder Carli Lloyd, who was voted Player of the Match. The goal came in the second half, but the U.S. was clearly the better team throughout the match.
After a few somewhat lackluster games, this was the first time the U.S. really stamped their authority on a match. They barely let China play, maintaining possession for several extended sequences throughout the game.
In the interviews after the game, Lloyd mentioned this game was different from the others because she had much more freedom. Since California native Megan Rapinoe, along with midfielder Lauren Holiday, both missed this match because of yellow cards, the structure of the team changed a bit and allowed Lloyd to play more offensively, and that’s exactly what she likes. Morgan Brian who replaced Holiday in this game played as a defensive midfielder, allowing Lloyd to go up top more often.
[quote_box_center]”Everybody came out with high intensity and super aggressive,” Tobin Heath said. “We wanted to run at players.”[/quote_box_center]
Californian and forward Amy Rodriguez played up top along with also Californian Alex Morgan. Rodriguez replaced Abby Wambach, who only subbed in at the end of the game with 85 minutes on the clock. According to Coach Jill Ellis, she really liked the performance from Rodriguez in this match.
The next game will be the hardest test for the U.S. in this tournament against Germany in the semifinals on Tuesday. We will see how Coach Jill arranges her team for the next match, after having a successful game against China.