Alyssa Naeher

Photo: Julio Cortez, AP

The United States women’s national team put in another stellar performance to squeeze out another close, 2-1 win against England, that advances them to the Women's World Cup Final.

Penn State alumna Alyssa Naeher played a huge part in the win, as she saved a penalty that would have equalized the game at 2-2 with 10 minutes to go. 

English striker Ellen White fell in the area and after another lengthy VAR review, the referee awarded a penalty to England and booked Becky Sauerbrunn for a foul.

The English captain, Steph Houghton, stepped up to the spot as British standout Nikita Parris missed two out of three penalties previously. Houghton put the ball low toward Naeher’s right side with very little power, and the Nittany Lion was able to make a heroic save to preserve the lead and the win.

Fellow Nittany Lion Ali Krieger also featured as a substitute.

The star of the tournament so far, Megan Rapinoe, was out with a possible injury, but her replacement Christen Press quickly found a goal inside the first ten minutes. Kelley O’Hara provided a cross on an overlap to an unmarked Press for a clean header.

Ellen White tied up the game nine minutes later for England, firing at Naeher’s goal at point-blank range off a pinpoint cross from Beth Mead after sneaking in behind Abby Dahlkemper.

Lindsey Horan supplied a perfect cross to the skipper, Alex Morgan, who scored off a header on her birthday.

Naeher showed out with a save on full stretch when Keira Walsh tried to answer Morgan’s goal with a dipping curler two minutes later.

The score stayed the same until the 67th minute. The U.S. defense has had a few errors by then and Jill Scott was able to provide a beautiful flick to the red-hot White to equalize. However, the goal was deemed offside by VAR.

Ali Krieger, another Penn State graduate, saw pitch time as she entered the fray for O’Hara at right back at the 87th minute as a fresh pair of legs and to provide some experience at the back.

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