After extra time ended with a score of 0-0, Sweden beat the USA 5-4 on penalties to knock the two-time defending champions out of the Women’s World Cup.
In a crazy penalty shootout on Sunday, Lina Hurtig scored the winning penalty kick, but USA’s goalie Alyssa Naeher blocked the ball on the line, necessitating VAR verification of the outcome.
Sophia Smith could have won the game for the four-time winners, but she shot the ball over the crossbar.
The hero of the game was Sweden’s goalie, Zecira Musovic, who kept the Scandinavians in the game by making 11 saves before the shootout to keep the Americans from winning.
Even though the Swedes didn’t have the ball very often, they didn’t have a shot on goal until the 85th minute, when replacement Sofia Jakobsson danced into the box and shot straight at goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
In the ninth minute of extra time, Megan Rapinoe came off the bench to replace forward Alex Morgan. However, she wasn’t able to help the Americans win.
Rapinoe, who is known for having perfect aim when taking penalty kicks, sent the fourth shot for the US over the bar. This came after Nathalie Bjorn of Sweden had also shot over.
Naeher blocked Rebecka Blomqvist’s fourth shot for the Swedes, but Smith’s error kept the Scandinavians in the game.
After Naeher and Magdalena Eriksson scored from the penalty spot, Kelley Ohara’s shot hit the right post, giving Hurtig the chance to step up and knock the champions out of the event.
The USA women’s team had made it to the semi-finals or better in all eight previous World Cups. They won the last two, in France and Canada. However, this was their fastest exit.
The worst the Americans had done was come in third place three times.
On Friday, in the quarterfinals, Sweden will play against a very good Japanese team.
On Sunday, Musovic was the best player because he stopped 11 of the 22 US shots. Only one of Sweden’s nine shots was on target.
Musovic made two great saves in the second half to keep the game 0-0 until extra time. In the 89th minute, she dove to her right to stop an Alex Morgan header.
In the 53rd minute, Lindsey Horan took a shot that was meant for the bottom right corner, but Musovic made a quick save with her left hand.
In the first 10 minutes of extra time, Musovic stopped Morgan and Lynn Williams.
In the 85th minute, Sofia Jakobsson took a shot from 10 yards out, and Naeher made the only save. #USA
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