Sweden knock out Women’s World Cup holders USA in wild penalty shootout | Women’s World Cup News



Two-time defending champions USA make earliest ever World Cup exit, as Sweden progress to face Japan in quarter-finals.

Sweden beat the United States 5-4 on penalties to knock the defending champions out of the Women’s World Cup after the teams were locked at 0-0 at the end of extra time.

In a madcap shootout on Sunday, Lina Hurtig struck the winning spot-kick, though US goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher parried the ball on the line and the result needed to be confirmed by VAR.

Sophia Smith had had the chance to win the match for the four-times champion Americans but blasted the ball over the bar.

Sweden goalkeeper Zecira Musovic emerged as the hero, having kept the Scandinavians in the match, making 11 saves before the shootout to deny the Americans.

Often starved of possession, the Swedes did not have a shot on goal until the 85th minute when substitute Sofia Jakobsson danced into the area, only to shoot straight at keeper Alyssa Naeher.

The talismanic Megan Rapinoe came off the bench to replace forward Alex Morgan in the ninth minute of extra time but was unable to create a winner for the Americans.

Renowned for having a dead-eye as a penalty shooter, Rapinoe struck the fourth kick for the US over the bar after Sweden’s Nathalie Bjorn had also blasted over.

Megan Rapinoe looking dejected
Rapinoe looks dejected as the United States are knocked out of the World Cup [Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Reuters]

Naeher saved Rebecka Blomqvist’s fourth shot for the Swedes but Smith’s failed effort kept the Scandinavians in it.

After Naeher and Magdalena Eriksson converted their spot-kicks, Kelley Ohara sent her shot pinging off the right post, allowing Hurtig to step up and send the champions out of the tournament.

Winners of the last two World Cups in France and Canada, the US slumped to their quickest exit, having made the semi-finals or better in all eight previous editions.

The Americans’ worst finish had been third place, three times.

Sweden will take on an impressive Japan side in the quarter-finals on Friday.

The player of Sunday’s match was Musovic, who made 11 saves from the 22 US shots. Sweden had nine shots, with only one on target.

Musovic kept the match scoreless in normal time with two great second-half saves, including a diving stop to her right on an Alex Morgan header in the 89th minute.

In the 53rd minute, Musovic made a reactionary save with her left hand to deny Lindsey Horan’s shot that was targeted for the lower right corner.

Musovic made stops on Morgan and Lynn Williams in the first 10 minutes of extra time.

The lone save for Naeher was in the 85th minute from a 10-yard shot by Sofia Jakobsson.


Source link

Leave your vote

200 Points
Upvote Downvote
Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.