The Americans got lucky.
They got lucky when Daiana started off the scoring with an own goal. They got lucky when the referee - finally - took their side, adding three minutes of stoppage time to the final half of extra time after Erika not-so-expertly faked a serious injury.
They got lucky when Chistine Rampone lifted a perfect 30-yard pass that pulled Andreia far enough out of the net that Abby Wambach could get right to it. They got lucky when Andreia was whistled for coming off the line during PKs. And they got lucky when Andreia guessed wrong - five separate times.
But they may have gotten most lucky when they weren't even on the pitch at all.
The Americans are about to take the pitch to see if they can unseat the French and advance to their first World Cup final since 1999, when they won the World Cup on PKs in front of 90,000-plus at the Rose Bowl and Brandi Chastain etched her name in American soccer lore.