Lina Hurtig converted the shot that led to a 5-4 penalty shootout for Sweden after the match ended goalless. On the US team, experienced stars Megan Rapinoe and Kelley O’Hara, along with young striker Sophia Smith, missed their kicks from the penalty mark.
During the first 90 minutes, the American team dominated the game, with Swedish goalkeeper Zecira Musovic making key interventions to keep the score at zero. The goalless tie held for the extra 30 minutes, leading to the match’s decision via penalty shootout.
On Hurtig’s final shot, USA goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher saved the shot, but a VAR review confirmed the ball had crossed the goal line. This dramatic conclusion to the match eliminated the top two teams in the FIFA ranking, the United States and Germany, from the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The American coach, Vlatko Andonovski, expressed his pride in the players and regretted the way they said goodbye to the tournament. Despite the elimination, Andonovski highlighted the team’s effort and their representation of the country with dignity.
The Swedish team led by Peter Gerhardsson, who is looking to surpass his third place in the 2019 World Cup in France, will now face Japan in the quarterfinals. Gerhardsson praised the United States’ performance and highlighted his own team’s defensive solidity.
This match also marked the farewell of Megan Rapinoe, an iconic American soccer figure and 2019 Golden Boot winner, who announced her retirement at the end of the current season.
Despite the disappointment of not reaching the semifinals, Andonovski noted that the future of the US team is bright and that the experience in this tournament will be valuable for the young players who will make their mark in soccer.