Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) – Carli Lloyd scored a second-half penalty kick and added an assist on Tuesday as the United States booked its place in the Women’s World Cup final with a 2-0 victory over Germany at the Olympic Stadium.
Lloyd scored in the knockout round win over Colombia as well and in the 1-0 quarterfinal win over China. Kelley O’Hara, who came on as a second- half substitute, bagged the other goal, sending the Americans to their fourth World Cup final.
Jill Ellis’ club will vie for its third title against either England or defending champions Japan on Sunday in Vancouver.
Coming off the nervy quarterfinal win over China, the Americans faced their toughest test of the tournament in the top-ranked Germans, which reached the semifinals with a win over France in penalty kicks.
Ellis had a full squad to work with as star midfielders Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday were both back in the starting 11 after missing the China match due to yellow card accumulation.
It was a battle of contrasting styles as Germany came into the match having scored 20 goals through five tournament matches, while the U.S. had scored seven, but conceded just one.
The match was wide open from the outset in front of the predominantly pro- American crowd at Olympic Stadium and Germany had the first chance as Alexandra Popp sent one with pace on frame, forcing U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo to parry it over the crossbar.
Rapinoe got in behind the German defense after eight minutes, but her effort on goal flew well wide. Five minutes later Alex Morgan had her best chance of the half when she got on the end of an excellent through ball from Tobin Heath, but German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer came off her line to make the stop.
Germany answered with a set-piece chance in the 27th minute as Popp floated a free kick to the back post from the top of the box, but it was easily headed away by Morgan Brian as the sides went into the break scoreless.
The Americans kept the attacking play up in the second half and immediately carved out a chance as Rapinoe sent a corner kick into the box for a free header, but Lloyd directed it wide of the right post.
Germany’s best chance of the night came on the hour mark when Popp got in behind the defense and was pulled down by U.S. defender Julie Johnston, resulting in a penalty kick and a yellow card to Johnston.
Germany’s leading scorer, Celia Sasic, stepped to the spot but dragged her attempt wide of the left post.
Just six minutes later the Americans had their opportunity from the spot when Morgan was clattered in the box by German defender Annike Krahn.
Lloyd stepped up and made no mistake, blasting it past Angerer for her third goal in as many matches.
The Americans put the match away with six minutes to play as Lloyd played facilitator. She did well to keep possession and get to the end line before playing it across the face of goal for an easy tap-in by O’Hara.
Germany pushed numbers forward looking for a late miracle as the fourth official’s board showed three added minutes, but the stout American back line held serve to claim another clean sheet, their fifth of the tournament.