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USA Falls in Women’s World Cup For Penalties Against Sweden

Sweden eliminated the United States from the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand 5-4 on penalties on Sunday after a goalless draw in their round of 16 match, thus closing a triumphant period for the US team with his earliest exit in the history of this competition.

American players react to their elimination in the match with Sweden in Melbourne, Australia on August 6, 2023.

United States goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher claimed unsuccessfully that she had stopped Lina Hurtig’s final shot that put the team out, but she pleaded that she had crossed the line.

ABBA’s Dancing Queen played in the stadium while the Swedes celebrated their qualification in the first game of the current tournament that ends on penalties.

The United States, which has a record four World Cup wins in total and was aiming for the third in a row, will have to return home. Until now, the worst performance of the team had been to finish in third place (on three occasions).

It was the fourth time that a United States game in a World Cup had gone to extra time. The other three also went to penalties, including the 2011 final that Japan won. He did win his 2011 quarterfinal match against Brazil on penalties, and the 1999 final against China. Sweden already eliminated the USA on penalties at the 2016 Olympics.

Now Sweden will face Japan in the quarterfinals, winner of the 2011 World Cup, which eliminated Norway 3-1 on Saturday. The Netherlands will play against Spain after defeating South Africa 2-0.

Sweden has never won a major international tournament, neither the World Cup nor the Olympic Games. The closest it has come was the World Cup final in 2003. But the United States had already been in trouble since the initial phase of the tournament, in which they scored four goals in three games. They were close to being eliminated against Portugal in the last match, which drew 0-0, and qualified as second in the group.

Sweden, meanwhile, won all three of their group stage matches, including a 5-0 demolition of Italy in the last match. Coach Peter Gerhardsson made nine substitutions in the game and rested his starters before facing the United States.

The Americans played that much better against Sweden, taking possession and having five shots on target against just one of their opponents in the first half.

The United States was playing without Rose Lavelle, who picked up her second yellow card of the tournament in the group stage against Portugal. American coach Vlatko Andonovski replaced her with Emily Sonnett, who was making her first start as a starter since 2022.

Neither Caroline Seger nor Megan Rapinoe started, but Rapinoe came on for Alex Morgan in the first part of extra time.

Rapinoe, also 38, had announced that this would be her last World Cup. She has taken a supporting role in her last tournament with the national team. She was a substitute in the first and third games of the group stage and did not come off the bench in the second. She made her 200th appearance in the United States jersey at the World Cup.

Jonas Muthoni
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