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Iran Told: Let Your Women Go... to the Soccer

Iran Told: Let Your Women Go... to the Soccer

France, who the US will meet in Paris on Saturday (AEST) for a place in the semi-finals, scraped through the last 16 with a 2-1 win against Brazil after extra time on Monday. But it was clear the USA was rattled by the way Spain pressed, maintained possession, got down the flank and played unsafe balls into the box.

The scouting report on Spain heading into this tournament was that it was a few years away from truly competing with the top teams in the world. The France vs Brazil match will be played at the Stade Oceane Stadium. I ruminated on US defensive breakdowns here. She made 4 key passes and completed 100% of her take ons against Thailand and is a crucial part of the American system. With the US up 1-0 in the ninth minute, after Rapinoe's first penalty, there were some serious issues in decision making between Naeher and Sauerbrunn that resulted in the USA giving up its first goal of this tournament. It was Horan's second goal in France. A long all into the box as Leon plants her legs into Heath's shins as she cuts inside.

Spain is ranked 13th in the world and battled the U.S.in a 1-0 game back on January 22. And indeed, it was.

The U.S. was fortunate to win this one though.

Has the U.S team had enough rest?

The Americans were the last team to play their opening match of the tournament. She is the anchor of the US backfield and held out of competition today for precautionary reasons.

It's going to be hard not to see those stars when facing a front line that includes Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath.

Regardless, the U.S.is through to the quarterfinals. But this match was about bragging rights.

After the USA and France both survived round-of-16 scares, we can finally officially discuss their upcoming quarterfinal matchup.

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The other three are Gillian Coultard (Canada), Karen Farley (Nigeria) and the one and only Kelly Smith (Japan and Argentina).

Spain pushed hard for an equalizer and was given seven minutes of stoppage time to find a tying goal, but the USA dug in and saw out the result to continue its record of never having lost a Women's World Cup match after scoring first.

It wasn't an encouraging showing as the team heads into Friday's match against France, who'll be playing at home team and stands as the strongest competitor against the U.S. The most anticipated game of the tournament will be decided in the quarterfinal.

The Americans found the game victor in the second half, however.

A game to forget for her, for sure. "And I think that gives us a lot of confidence moving forward". "And you always play to win and to never have that feeling again".

Ellis also addressed the time gap between Spain's last match - 6 days - and the Americans' most recent match-up - 3 days - telling press, "I think we're very used to a three-day rhythm".

Aside from Spain, ranked number 13 in the world, the path to a fourth World Cup title could go through France, England and Germany. It was then a retaken missed penalty that turned a slightly lacklustre performance against Nigeria in a 1-0 win in their third and final game.

Rapinoe's first came in the seventh minute to the cheers of the US supporters melting in temperatures that reached almost 90 degrees at the Stade Auguste-Delaune.