Over 24,000 people flocked to Landsdowne Stadium in Ottawa, Ontario, including myself and my family. The reason for this mass gathering? The United States was playing China in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. After a devastating loss to Japan in the 2011 World Cup, the United States was determined to earn another chance at the world championship.
After months of anticipation for our trip to see the World Cup, my family was ecstatic when we arrived at the stadium. Upon entering the stadium, we were met with chants for “USA”. Decked from head-to-toe in USA paraphernalia, we were ready to root on our favorite players, including Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, Julie Johnston, and many others. My family anxiously anticipated the starting lineup, knowing USA’s strong midfielders, Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday, were suspended.
When the starting lineup took the field, we were excited to see some new players off the bench. From the first whistle, the U.S. dominated the game and I had a good feeling they would beat China. The U.S. outside midfielders fed countless crosses into the center but the forwards could not find the net in the first half. Luckily the U.S. defense was rock solid and didn’t allow the China offense any scoring opportunities. Just six minutes into the second half, Julie Johnston crossed the ball into the penalty box and Carli Lloyd headed it past the Chinese goalie and into the bottom right corner. The stadium erupted into complete pandemonium. I knew at that moment we’d see USA in the semi-finals. China had no chance after the U.S. gained their winning stride. The game ended 1-0 with the USA victorious. Off to Montreal!!