OTTAWA, Ontario – The last time the United States played China in the Women’s World Cup was in the 1999 final at the Rose Bowl, when the Americans won on penalty kicks for their second title and Brandi Chastain famously ripped off her jersey.
The teams meet again tonight, with the winner advancing to a semifinal against top-ranked Germany or No. 3 France.
The United States, still seeking its third title, has a 24-game unbeaten streak against China dating to 2003.
After scoring just six goals in their first four games, the second-ranked Americans look to Alex Morgan for offense. The star forward, 25, sidelined by a bone bruise in her left knee from April 11 until June 8, made her first start of the tournament in the group-stage finale and scored her first goal in Monday’s 2-0 round-of-16 win over Colombia.
“I feel better and better each game,” Morgan said. “I’m seeing my speed, my change of direction, my shot coming back.”
The Americans will be missing veteran midfielders Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday, suspended because of yellow card accumulation. 22-year-old Morgan Brian and Christen Press, 26, are likely to take their spots in the starting lineup.
Rapinoe has been one of the most creative players in the tournament. .
“They’re definitely both incredible players, great for our team. They’re going to be missed,” fellow midfielder Carli Lloyd said.
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