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July 13, 2011 at 11:31 AM

U.S. advances to World Cup final with 3-1 win against France

uswnt france.jpgPhoto credit: Martin Meissner, AP

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The magical run continues. Behind goals from Lauren Cheney, Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan, the United States beat a strong France side 3-1 Wednesday to advance to the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday.

With the score tied 1-1 in the second half, Wambach yet again rose to the occasion (pictured above). The 5-foot-11 forward, who had the late-gasp equalizer in Sunday’s quarterfinal against Brazil, powerfully headed in a 79th-minute corner kick from Cheney for the game winner. Morgan, the girlfriend of Sounders FC midfielder Servando Carrasco, added a brilliant insurance goal in the 82nd minute.

Cheney had put the U.S. ahead early, directing a ninth-minute cross from Heather O’Reilly into the net. France leveled the score in the 55th minute when a cross from left back Sonia Bompastor skipped past everyone and snuck just inside the post.

The U.S. hasn’t been in the WWC final since 1999, when they famously beat China in a penalty-kick shootout. Coach Pia Sundhage‘s side will play Japan, a 3-1 semifinal winner against Sweden, in Sunday’s final in Frankfurt.

Wambach has 12 career World Cup goals, tying her with Michelle Akers (a Shorecrest High School grad) for the U.S. lead.

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