Megan Rapinoe has spent this week enduring Swiss-cheese brained criticism from some powerful haters, but today, after the USWNT’s 2-1 victory over France, there can be no slander against her. Rapinoe scored the first two goals of the game—and the only ones for the U.S.—as she piloted her national team through their toughest opponent of the World Cup.
Rapinoe’s night began in perfect fashion before five minutes even had gone by in the game. On a free kick from a tight angle, Rapinoe took advantage of all the traffic in front of Sarah Bouhaddi, sending the ball low and through a sea of legs to beat the French goalkeeper.
Her second goal, coming 20 minutes into the second half, did plenty to ease American stress after a run of aggressive, dangerous French play. Alex Morgan started the action near midfield and, after a solid run herself, Tobin Heath picked it up and took it into the box. From there, one legendary American winger fed the ball to another, as Heath served it up on a platter for Rapinoe to blast home the game-winner.
The dominant French defender Wendie Renard scored on a header from close range to make the last 10 minutes a nerve-wracking affair, but alas, her one goal was fewer than Rapinoe’s two, and the U.S. advanced to the semis. Next on Rapinoe’s hit list is England, a clear drop down from the challenge they faced today. If the trembling English can limit Rapinoe to even just one goal, they’ll have to feel proud.