Alex Morgan says keeper Alyssa Naeher 'saved our arse' with 2 critical saves to send the US to the World Cup final

Catherine Ivill – FIFA/FIFA via Getty ImagesAlyssa Naeher stops a penalty kick in the second half of USA’s semifinal against England.

The United States Women’s National Team is through to the World Cup final thanks to their 2-1 victory over England on Tuesday.

American fans were initially confused after Megan Rapinoe, the most dominant player of the tournament so far was surprisingly absent from the starting lineup.

Read more: Megan Rapinoe was out of the US’s starting lineup for the Women’s World Cup semifinal, and the team would not say why

Thankfully, the United States still had enough firepower, with Christian Press scoring in the 10th minute to give the team an early 1-0 lead. England would answer with a goal of their own in the 19th minute, but the tie wouldn’t last long, with Alex Morgan sending home what would prove to be the game-winning goal just minutes later.

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Alex Morgan pretended to sip tea after a goal against England in the World Cup, and then fans sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to her

While Morgan was the offensive hero of the day for the Americans, it was goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher who would ultimately prove herself as the woman of the match, making two critical saves to keep the United States lead secure.

First, Naeher was able to keep the Lionesses from responding to Morgan’s goal in the first half, diving to tip a strong strike over the crossbar in the 33rd minute.

But Naeher’s true moment of heroism came when England was awarded a penalty kick in the 84th minute after VAR determined the Americans had committed a foul in the box.

England’s Stephanie Houghton stepped to the spot to take the attempt, only to be stuffed by Naeher, who dove to her right, stopped, and held on to the ball. Her United States teammates absolutely erupted.

The Americans would burn off the rest of the match, including seven stressful minutes of stoppage time, and secure their spot in Sunday’s final, where they will meet the winner of Wednesday’s Sweden-Netherlands semifinal.

After the match, Morgan was quick to praise Naeher for her amazing play. “Alyssa Naeher … obviously, like, she saved our arse,” Morgan said while being interviewed moments after the final whistle. “Sorry, excuse that, but she saved our butts today.”

If Naeher can keep up that level of play for one more match, the Americans could be on their way to their second straight World Cup title.

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