It's halftime in the first game of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup semifinals, and what a fascinating 45 minutes it's been. The United States lead France by a score of 1-0 on a brilliant goal by Lauren Cheney, but both teams should probably have another goal or two. There have been plenty of chances going both ways, and it's been a very interesting tactical battle.
The goal came in the 9th minute when Cheney finished a low cross from Heather O'Reilly on a counter attack. Following a corner kick by France, the USWNT broke out on the counter with O'Reilly on the left instead of her usual right side. Cheney, the left midfielder cut into the box as a result of O'Reilly's position, providing a great target. O'Reilly put in a great low cross and Cheney touched it into the back of the net with a single touch, putting the USA ahead early.
France had the majority of the possession and really made the most of their numbers advantage in midfield, but some back luck combined with some great play by Hope Solo has kept Les Bleues off of the scoreboard. Solo has five saves, a couple of them downright brilliant, while Sonia Bompastor had a fantastic shot bounce off the crossbar late in the half.
The United States could very well score another goal despite the fact that they've been outplayed on most of the pitch, simply because France's central defenders and goalkeeper are in shambles. The French midfield is dominating, even with Shannon Boxx playing well, but every USWNT venture forward turns into a chance.