Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

From Megan Rapinoe’s miss to VAR drama: How the USA and Sweden’s penalty shoot-out unfolded

The defending champions are out of the World Cup after a wild penalty shoot-out

Ben Fleming
Sunday 06 August 2023 13:53 BST
Comments
England Lionesses train ahead of Women's World Cup clash with Nigeria

The United States are out of the Women’s World Cup after the defending champions were knocked out on penalties by Sweden at the last-16 stage in a dramatic shoot-out.

After a goalless 120 minutes which were dominated by the USA, Lina Hurtig’s penalty to win the tie required VAR to rule it had crossed the line, after Alyssa Naeher thought she had saved the USA’s World Cup defence.

USA forward Sophia Smith had missed the chance to win the match from the spot earlier in the shoot-out, blazing wide after Naeher saved Rebecka Blomqvist’s effort.

Here is a full breakdown of how the topsy-turvy shoot-out unfolded:

GOAL! Sweden 0-1 USA: Central midfielder Andi Sullivan was first up for the US and got the defending champions off to a perfect start with her penalty beating Musovic down to the keeper’s right.

GOAL! Sweden 1-1 USA: Fridolina Rolfo was up first for Sweden and the winger also made no mistake, firing into the opposite corner with Naeher sent the wrong way.

GOAL! Sweden 1-2 USA: USA’s captain, Lindsey Horan was up next and converted, going the same way as Sullivan and beating Zecira Musovic in the goal.

GOAL! Sweden 2-2 USA: But it was the perfect response from Elin Rubensson who again found the side-netting to keep things level.

GOAL! Sweden 2-3 USA: Kristie Mewis was sent on in the 119th minute in preparation for the penalty shoot-outs but didn’t let her lack of game time get the better of her as she fired home to edge the US ahead once again.

MISS! Sweden 2-3 USA: The first miss would then come from right-back Nathalie Bjorn who blazed over the bar with her right foot to give the US a slight advantage.

MISS! Sweden 2-3 USA: But the US would fail to take advantage as the experienced Megan Rapinoe sent her penalty high and wide over the bar. Few saw that coming.

Rapinoe missed with her final kick at the Women’s World Cup (REUTERS)

SAVED! Sweden 2-3 USA: Another miss - three in a row now - as late substitute Rebecka Blomqvist saw her penalty saved by Alyssa Naeher diving down to her right. That miss gave the US a chance to seal victory...

MISS! Sweden 2-3 USA: But it wasn’t to be as 22-year-old forward Sophia Smith dragged her penalty wide, missing the opportunity to send the US through to the quarter-finals.

Smith missed the chance to send the USA to the quarter-finals (Getty Images)

GOAL! Sweden 3-3 USA: To sudden death they would go as Hanna Bennison stepped up to convert Sweden’s fifth penalty and level the shootout at 3-3.

GOAL! Sweden 3-4 USA: A rare sight with the sixth penalty as USA’s keeper, Naeher stepped up to take a spot kick. She made no mistake, though, drilling her penalty down the middle and edging the US ahead.

Naeher scored the USA’s fifth penalty (Getty Images)

GOAL! Sweden 4-4 USA: But on we would go as centre-back Magdalena Eriksson made no mistake with her perfect penalty nestling in the roof of the net.

POST! Sweden 4-4 USA: Kelley O’Hara, with all her experience, was brought on alongside Mewis in the 119th minute but was unable to find the net. Having sent Musovic the wrong way, the two-time World Cup winner saw her strike cannon back off the right post to give Sweden a chance to win it.

GOAL! Sweden 5-4 USA: Lina Hurtig was the woman chosen to take the decisive penalty and the Arsenal player went to Naeher’s right with a poor strike, all things considered. The US keeper made the initial save but the ball dramatically deflected over the line in the air. As Naeher recovered, she tried to palm it away from the goal but a VAR check awarded the goal with Sweden victorious and the US dumped out.

With that victory, Sweden will now face a last-eight match against the impressive Japan on Friday. For the US, it marks the first time in the nation’s history that they have failed to reach the semi-finals of a Women’s World Cup.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in