Tuesday's World Cup: Victory proves costly for U.S.

Anne M. Peterson
Associated Press

Edmonton, Alberta — The United States has made it through to the quarterfinals at the Women's World Cup but not unscathed.

The Americans will have to face China without two key contributors.

Midfielders Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe won't be able to play because of accumulated yellow cards. Both received their second yellows in Monday night's 2-0 victory over upstart Colombia in the round of 16.

It's a blow to the United States, which has struggled to find its offense during the tournament.

Rapinoe has been one of the most creative and dangerous players for the Americans, while Holiday has been steady and dependable.

"Obviously we've got some decisions to make but I think we've invested in players significantly over the past six months and we've dealt with injuries," coach Jill Ellis said. "So I feel very confident in the players we have to be able to come in and contribute. And I know they're going to be confident to be able to step up and help us advance."

Rapinoe said she felt her caution in the 41st came as the result of a series of calls. Holiday was carded in the 17th minute.

"I guess you could say I accumulated all those fouls so that's worth the yellow card," Rapinoe said. "But (Holiday) got the yellow card on her very first foul of the game so I didn't think that was that fair."

Ellis said after Monday's victory that Morgan Brian is likely to take Holiday's spot at center with Carli Lloyd.

At 22, Brian is the youngest player on the team. Rapinoe suggested Christen Press likely would step into her spot.

The United States has won the World Cup twice, but the team's last title came in 1999.

The U.S. plays No. 16 China on Friday night in Ottawa. The winner of that game will face the winner of Friday's quarterfinal match between Germany and France in Montreal.

Abby Wambach, who missed a penalty kick in the match against Colombia, was asked after the match whether the yellow cards for Rapinoe and Holiday were deserved.

"I don't know," Wambach said. "It seemed like she (the referee) was purposefully giving those yellows to maybe players that she knew were sitting on yellows."

Tuesday's match

Japan 2, Netherlands 1: Mizhuo Sakaguchi scored what turned out to be the deciding goal in the 78th minute on a pretty left-footed shot from the top of the 18-yard box, and defending Women's World Cup champion Japan held off a late attack to beat the Netherlands and reach the quarterfinal.

Kirsten van de Ven scored for the Dutch in extra time when the ball went off goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori's right arm. Three additional minutes were added to the clock.

Sakaguchi scored shortly after Japan nearly had an own goal. Sherida Spitse took a corner in the 76th and the ball deflected off Aya Sameshima toward her own net when Kaihori punched it away with her right fist.

Saori Ariyoshi scored from the top of the box in the 10th minute for Japan's initial goal.


Friday's games on Fox, Saturday's on FS1


■Germany vs. France, 4 p.m.

■China vs. United States, 7:30 p.m.


■Australia vs. Japan, 4 p.m.

■England vs. Canada, 7:30 p.m.