To the semifinals we go! The U.S. have to take on Germany on Tuesday, which is kind of yiiiiiikes, but on the plus side, they played their best soccer of the tournament in their quarterfinal against China.
1-0 might not seem convincing, but the U.S. outplayed a China side that spent most of their time defending, and it could have—maybe should have—been a larger margin of victory.
Let's relive it.
Pre-game: As per usual, I predicted the lineup incorrectly. Morgan Brian is stepping in for the suspended Lauren Holiday, but it's Kelley O'Hara taking the also suspended Megan Rapinoe's place. Abby Wambach is on the bench, with Amy Rodriguez paired up top with Alex Morgan.
2': Rodriguez is in on goal, but she takes her shot in the most difficult way possible and the result is a big miss. Boo. Killer through ball from Carli Lloyd though.
4': Some real awkward patches of sun on this field. Also, the live commentary on FIFA's website just said, "Morgan is adjudged to be in an offside position." ADJUDGED. Who do you think runs the FIFA live commentary, by the way? Do they have interns?
8': Plenty of opportunities for the U.S. in the early going here. O'Hara just took a nice shot that curled just over the bar.
10': The lens flare situation that's happening here is really something. Kind of an annoying something, to be honest. It is so adjudged.
17': I have no idea if JP Dellacamera is pronouncing these Chinese names right, but one of my biggest annoyances is commentators who say names wrong so I HOPE YOU'RE DOING IT RIGHT, JP.
23': The FIFA live commentary is so great. It's always "Player sees an effort go off target/hit the target/etc." Players are just seeing things all over the place. I hope when someone scores the commentary just says, "Player sees an effort go into the goal." Oh, also now Rodriguez has been adjudged offside.
26': Quite a scramble in the box there but the U.S. don't score despite approximately one million chances. But, you know, they're seeing a lot of the ball and pressuring China and really playing rather well. I ain't mad.
29': DR. JOE STOP TALKING OMG YOU ARE THE WORST
31': Julie Johnston gets a free header in the box and it's just over. But it's yet another chance for the U.S.—you get the feeling that China's got to break at some point, with all the defending they're having to do.
39': Between the U.S.' socks and everyone's boots, it looks like everyone had to wade through a shallow pool of highlighter ink before stepping onto the field.
44': My dad wants to know: "How come U.S. can't score?" Dad, chill. If they keep on like this, the goals should come.
Halftime: 0-0 between the U.S. and China. U.S. with the most/best chances. Ellis will probably make some subs to screw up the good thing they've got going.
46': Mic in the U.S. huddle as Wambach gives her second half pep talk. She just said, "First 10 minutes, we get a fucking goal" for all of America to hear and I love it. Also, good idea, Abby, let's do that.
51': Goal USA! Carli Lloyd executes a fabulous, powerful header off a great long cross from Johnston. Dad text: "Finally." Also, we clearly need Wambach to do more yelling/predicting.
61': U.S. substitution as Christen Press comes in for Kelley O'Hara, who's dealing with a bloody, potentially broken nose situation.
68': On screen graphic just shared that the U.S. have not allowed a goal in 400 minutes since their opening game against Australia. Prob because this defense is ballerrrrrrrr.
71': I'm beginning to suspect that JP's pronunciations of China's names are not right, but my knowledge of Chinese phonetics is admittedly nonexistent. Someone let me know how he did, please.
73': Daaamn girl Krieger just had a hella fierce shot but the woodwork got in the way. That would've been a stunner. Lloyd missed the follow-up but she was offside anyway.
75': "Lloyd illegally handles the ball," says the FIFA live commentary. Stand aside for your adjudgment, CARLI.
81': U.S. substitution with Alex Morgan coming off and HEATHER O'REILLY coming on. Ellis remembers what she looks like!! She remembers she has an awesome winger on her bench!!!
86': U.S. substitution as Abby Wambach replaces Amy Rodriguez. Or "Wombach" as she is known to random girl in the crowd who didn't spellcheck her sign.
Full time: USA 1-0 China. Next up: semifinal against Germany on Tuesday. Oh boy.
U.S. lineup (4-4-2): Hope Solo; Ali Krieger, Julie Johnston, Becky Sauerbrunn, Meghan Klingenberg; Kelley O'Hara (Christen Press 61'), Morgan Brian, Carli Lloyd, Tobin Heath; Amy Rodriguez (Abby Wambach 86'), Alex Morgan (Heather O'Reilly 81')
China lineup (4-2-3-1): Wang Fei; Wu Haiyan, Zhao Rong, Li Dongna, Liu Shanshan; Tan Ruyin (Pang Fengyue 58'), Ren Guixin; Wang Lisi, Lou Jiahui (Wang Shuang 35'), Han Peng (Tang Jiali 75'); Wang Shanshan