Out in dramatic penalty shootout – USA despair of Sweden goalkeeper
With 120 minutes in, the USA were running, but Sweden goalkeeper Zecira Musovic put in a world-class performance. The defending champions lost their nerve from the penalty spot – including superstar Rapinoe.
The USA lost the eagerly awaited round of 16 of the soccer World Cup in Australia and New Zealand 4:5 on penalties against Sweden. It was 0-0 after 120 minutes. In the quarter-finals, the Swedes will now meet Japan, who had beaten Norway 2-1 (1-1) the day before.
The previous appearances of the USA, the title holders of the last two finals, were not very world champions. The post saved Megan Rapinoe and her colleagues in the 0-0 draw against Portugal, otherwise the number one in the world rankings would have had to go home after the preliminary round like Olympic champion Canada and co-favorite Germany.
Musovic, again and again Musovic
However, the US team, who had made two changes, started better against the Swedes, who had been so convincing up to now: Andi Sullivan had the first chance of the game, who shot just wide to the left (7th minute). In a balanced game, the Swedes developed danger, especially after corner kicks, their own goalkeeper Zecira Musovic was challenged after Trinity Rodman shots from distance (17th and 27th).
Lucky for Sweden after a good half hour: An American corner kick found Lindsey Horan’s head, who headed powerfully against the crossbar from a few meters (33′). The USA now clearly superior at the end of the first half.
Usury chances of the US team
The picture was unchanged in the second half and again it was Musovic who prevented the deficit with a world-class save after a shot from Horan (53′). It wasn’t until the 85th minute before Sweden’s first chance to score in Melbourne: Sofia Jakobsson beat two opponents but failed from close range.
Shortly before the end of regular time, it was the Swedish goalkeeper who once again made a great save: Mušović repelled Alex Morgan’s header superbly (89′) and saved her team into extra time. The same picture there too: the USA ran on, Mušović saved her team from chances by Morgan (96th), Lynn Williams (101st) and Sophia Smith (107th), among others.
Penalty shootout drama
It went to penalties, in which the Swedes ultimately prevailed on the 14th attempt, although Smith, as the fifth American shooter, was already on the heels of progression. Curious: With the last penalty kick from Lina Hurtig, the video referee had to decide whether the ball had fully crossed the line.