Women’s World Cup holders USA have crashed out in the Round of 16 after Sweden defeated them on penalties in highly dramatic fashion.
They entered this year’s edition as one of the favourites but the legendary Megan Rapinoe won’t be able to get her hands on the trophy again.
Hurtig was convinced that her penalty had gone over the lineGetty
Upon review, it had just sneaked overITV Sport
Sweden kicked-off their dramatic celebrations after a tense wait for victoryGetty
The USA were dejectedGetty
The USA drew 0-0 in normal time against Sweden before the European side won 5-4 on penalties.
A series of misses built up a tense sudden death that neither side seemed to take advantage of.
However, Lina Hurtig’s penalty proved to be decisive – her spot-kick had narrowly gone over the line after initially being saved by Alyssa Naeher and the referee awarded a goal after an agonising check.
Sweden’s players were jubilant in celebration after such drama and will now progress to the quarter-finals.
Rapinoe was dejected after missing her spot-kickGetty
The USA’s defeat though has also seen the iconic two-time winner Rapinoe play her final ever World Cup game.
She announced before the tournament that she will retire at the end of the 2023 National Women’s Soccer League, which concludes in November.
Rapinoe was substituted on for fellow legend Alex Morgan in the first half of extra-time for her final minutes at the tournament.
She was visibly emotional after their fate was decided, as well as her teammates, with the 38-year-old missing her penalty.
It was the first time since 2011 when they also lost via a shootout to Japan that the USA had to play in extra-time at the World Cup, with this year being their earliest ever exit from the tournament.
Despite their undoubted quality, they were unable to keep their title defence going and will now be heading home, albeit due to mere millimetres.
Sweden goalkeeper Zecira Musovic, who stars for Chelsea, made a series of great saves throughout the match to keep her side in it.
Her efforts and those of her teammates will now see them face Japan in the last-eight on Friday morning.
Sweden’s confidence will surely grow after defeating the reigning championsAFP
It means for the first time since 2011, there will be a new tournament winner after the USA secured back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2019.
England are one of the favourites to go all the way this year, with the Three Lions facing Nigeria in their Round of 16 clash on Monday, live on talkSPORT.
The United States Women’s National team (USWNT) have been knocked out of the Women’s World Cup after a dramatic penalty shootout defeat to Sweden in the Round of 16.
The match finished 1-1 after extra time following Sweden’s equalizing goal scored late on in the 89th minute. The game went straight to an intense penalty shootout which resulted in a 5-3 scoreline in favor of Sweden.
USWNT players and coaches were understandably heartbroken in the aftermath. The team was seen on the field in tears as the devastating defeat sunk in. The players had given everything they possibly could to keep their hopes of World Cup glory alive but ultimately fell short in the end.
The finish was especially painful for the American team after it had been initially awarded a penalty through the use of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) technology. Alex Morgan had her spot kick saved by the Swedish keeper, Hedvig Lindahl, and the USWNT were ultimately unable to capitalize on the advantage.
The result marks the earliest World Cup exit for the American team since 1999, and brings their quest for a fourth World Cup trophy to an unfortunate close.
However, USWNT fans will take solace in the team’s impressive performances throughout this tournament, and look to build on this year’s success in their next tournament. The USWNT can hopefully use this as motivation in order to make a deeprun when they next take to the field.