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U.S. Takes 3-1 Lead Over France in Women’s World Cup Semifinal

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July 13 (Bloomberg) -- Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan scored within three minutes of each other to give the U.S. a 3-1 lead over France in the second half of their Women’s World Cup semifinal.

Wambach scored with a header in the 79th minute and then Morgan chipped in a goal in the 82nd minute. France’s Sonia Bompastor scored on a long shot in the 55th minute to even the score at 1-1. Lauren Cheney opened the scoring in Moenchengladbach, Germany by directing in a cross from Heather O’Reilly in the ninth minute.

France controlled the midfield for much of the half, but could only hit 3 long shots, while the U.S. scored on its only shot on goal. Bompastor hit the crossbar in the 33rd minute, while six minutes later Abby Wambach of the U.S. couldn’t head home after beating the goalkeeper.

The winner will play the victor of today’s semifinal in Frankfurt between Japan and Sweden in the July 17 final. The Americans have beaten France in 11 of the 13 times they’ve played.

The U.S. is trying to win its third Women’s World Cup after getting the trophy in 1991 and 1999. The team finished third in 1995, 2003, and 2007.

The U.S. defeated Brazil in a penalty shootout to reach the semifinal. The Americans won the shootout 5-3 after the match finished 2-2 after extra time.

France is in its second Women’s World Cup, after playing in the 2003 event in the U.S. The French won 11 of their 12 qualifying matches for this year’s tournament, and outscored its competitors, 53-2. The team beat England in the quarterfinal in a shootout 4-3 after the game finished 1-1.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Elser in London at celser@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter-Joseph Hegarty at phegarty@bloomberg.net