Sports Desk, Aug 6 (EFE).- The United States, winners of the past two World Cups, were dumped out of the competition by Sweden on Sunday after a dramatic penalty shootout following a tense 0-0 draw.
The US, who were bidding for a historic third consecutive title, dominated for 120 minutes but came up against an unbeatable Zecira Musovic in the Swedish goal, while also hitting the bar in the first half.
Veteran Megan Rapinoe – making her last ever international appearance – star of the next generation Sophia Smith both missed the target during the shootout, before Sweden sealed their place in the quarterfinals in dramatic style through Lina Hurtig.
Her penalty looked to have been saved at the second try by US goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, but the Video Assistant Referee gave the goal after replays showed the ball had fractionally crossed the line.
As Sweden’s players went wild, the Americans were distraught as they faced the fact that they were heading home after their worst ever showing at a World Cup.
Sweden move on to face Japan in the last eight.
In Sunday’s earlier match, the Netherlands rode their luck as they beat South Africa 2-0.
Jill Roord scored a ninth minute goal but it was goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar who was crucial, saving several shots from captain Thembi Kgatlana as South Africa repeatedly broke on the counter attack.
And it was a catastrophic error from South African keeper Kaylin Swart that allowed Lineth Beerensteyn to double the Netherlands’ lead.
The 2019 runners up will face Spain in the quarter finals. EFE