Sports

Women’s World Cup: Megan Rapinoe stands tall as U.S. beats France advance to semifinals

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This was a spectacle of women’s soccer, a capacity crowd in a famous stadium roaring as a reigning champion and an overdue contender collided in one of the most anticipated Women’s World Cup matches in history.

It lived up to its billing, and more. And when 90 exhausting minutes expired, the United States remained in contention for a fourth championship by edging France, 2-1, in a riveting quarterfinal before 45,595 at Parc des Princes.

Megan Rapinoe scored twice for the second consecutive match as the Americans advanced to play England on Tuesday in Lyon.

France had been seeking to reach the final of a major tournament for the first time.

The United States has won 11 consecutive matches and is unbeaten in 14 straight since losing to host France, 3-1, in a friendly early this year.

Hours before kickoff, supporters of both teams gathered in the brasseries and cafes around Porte de Saint-Cloud, site of the closest Metro station to the stadium. French and U.S. flags hung from awnings and fans decked in jerseys raised a toast to the much-anticipated match.

As kickoff neared, streets leading to the venue filled with fans singing and marching with flags and traditional scarves. Among the chants: “Equal pay!” — a reference to the U.S. players’ efforts for gender equality inside the U.S. Soccer Federation.

THE WASHINGTON POST

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