Defending champions USA are ELIMINATED from the Women’s World Cup on penalties after a dramatic shootout saw three USWNT stars – including Megan Rapinoe – miss seeing Sweden advance
- USA kicked out of World Cup after losing 5-4 on penalties to Sweden
- They dominated the clash but were thwarted by Swedish goalkeeper Zecira Musovic
- Sweden advance to the quarter-finals where they will face Japan on Friday
World Cup holders USA were knocked out of the tournament in the round of 16 after losing 5-4 on penalties to Sweden following a dramatic clash.
The USWNT came into the match under pressure, having finished second in their group and faced a Swedish side that had topped theirs with three comfortable wins from three.
Vlatko Andonovski’s outfit was much better as they dominated the clash but were thwarted by several superb saves from Swedish striker Zecira Musovic.
Lindsey Horan also hit the crossbar in the first half, before Musovic snatched a sensational one-handed save from him in the second half.
In the dying moments of the 90 minutes, the Chelsea keeper also prevented a certain goal from Alex Morgan from close range.
Sweden reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup after beating the USWNT 5-4 on penalties
Lina Hurtig scored the decisive penalty as Sweden fought back 3-2 in the shootout
There was a lot of drama as it was unclear whether his efforts – which were initially saved by Alyssa Naeher – had crossed the line, before VAR decided he had, to send Sweden to through
Hurtig’s shot crossed the line by a few millimeters despite a fine effort from American stopper Naeher
USWNT legend Megan Rapinoe was one of three American stars to miss her kick
It was a heartbreak for the holders who achieved their best performance of the whole tournament
In total, Musovic made 11 saves to keep his country in the World Cup.
Sweden often lacked possession and failed to get a shot on goal until the 85th minute when substitute Sofia Jakobsson danced into the box, only to shoot directly at Alyssa Naeher.
USA continued to dominate in extra time – in which the talismanic Megan Rapinoe came off the bench to replace Alex Morgan – but could not force a breakthrough before a dramatic penalty shootout.
They took a 3-2 lead but two-time World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe missed her effort.
SWEDEN (4-2-3-1): Musovic; Bjorn, Ilestedt, Eriksson, Anderson; Angeldal (Bennison 97), Rubensson; Rytting Kaneryd (Jakobsson 81), Aslanni (Hurtig 81), Rolfo; Blackstenius (Blomqvist 112)
Unused subtitles: Enblom, Falk, Janogy, Lennartsson, Sandberg, Schough, Seger, Sembrant
Director: Pierre Gerhardson
United States (4-2-3-1): Naher; Fox (O’Hara 120), Girma, Ertz, Dunn; Sullivan, Sonnet (Mewis 120); Rodman (Williams 66), Horan, Smith; Morgan (Rapinoe 99)
Unused subtitles: Kingsbury, Murphy, Sanchez, Thompson, Huerta, Demelo, Cook
Director: Vlatko Andonovsky
Swedish goalkeeper Zecira Musovic made several great saves to keep her team in the game
One save in particular was absolutely stunning as she swung Horan’s effort around the post
She forced the tie in overtime with another superb save from Alex Morgan just at the end
Sophia Smith then had a chance to win the game for USA but blew the ball over the bar.
The shootout ended in sudden death before Kelley O’Hara hit the post and Lina Hurtig had the opportunity to put Sweden through.
His effort was saved by Naeher, but bounced through the air.
The American goalkeeper collected the ball but there was a delay to find out if he had crossed the line.
VAR finally decided they needed millimeters to send Sweden through and into delirium.
Peter Gerhardsson’s side will advance to the quarter-finals where they will face Japan on Friday.
Lindsey Horan also hit the crossbar in the first half with a flying header from a corner
Chelsea and Swedish striker Musovic were in absolutely inspired form to keep USA at bay
Two-time World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe, 38, was brought into overtime by the USWNT