World Champions USA crash out of the World Cup

USA are sent packing after a dramatic penalty shoot out against Sweden and the Netherlands reach the quarter-finals after seeing off South Africa...

By Izzy Yard

Sweden 0-0 USA  (Sweden win 5-4 on penalties)

In a shocking turn of events the reigning champions have been sent home after a dramatic penalty shoot-out defeat by Sweden.

Both teams struggled to find their attacking form however the first half did have some chances for USA who looked like the slightly better side.

Trinity Rodmann had a powerful effort at goal, but Zećira Musovic was able to push the attempt away from danger.

Lindsey Horan also had a close attempt after she got her head on an in-swinging corner but the bar kept the ball from hitting the net and put it over for a goal kick.

Sweden knew they had to step up in the second half to avoid USA taking the lead.

The American skipper had another great chance in the 53rd minute as she fired the ball to the bottom right corner but Musovic made an amazing save to keep the game goaless.

The game went to extra time and USA continued to press but they just couldn’t find a way past  Musovic who denied them from getting a goal.

Neither team could find a goal in extra time and meant the game would be decided with penalties.

Both teams had string of misses in the shoot out, Megan Raphino fired her shot over the bar and Sophia Smith missed her in a similar fashion. Kelly O’Hara hit the post which meant it was down Lina Hurtig to win it for Sweden.

Her penalty was saved by Alyssa Naeher but the ball came down and looked as though it crossed the line. VAR ruled that it was a goal and sent Sweden through to the quarter finals. 

This is USA’s earliest ever exit from a World Cup and will be left wondering what went so wrong in this tournament, having won the past two. 

Netherlands 2-0 South Africa

The Netherlands soared into the quarter finals of the World Cup after beating South Africa 2-0 in Sydney.

The Dutch took an early lead from a corner kick when Jill Roord found the back of the net after it was initially saved by Kaylin Swart.

Swart managed to keep The Netherlands from extending their lead in the first half and made some amazing saves.

Van Domsellaar also made two fantastic saves down the other end and denied South Africa getting the all-important equaliser.

Netherlands thought they had doubled their lead in the 56th minute before the effort was overturned by VAR because of offside.

It was Lineth Beerensteyn who eventually got the Dutch side their second goal from 20 yards out. Swart came off her line and it looked as though it would be a comfortable save however it went through her arms and into the back of the net.

South Africa did keep up their fight however couldn’t find a way through the Netherlands back line. The final whistle blew and ended South Africa’s tournament.

The 2019 finalists will now play Spain in the quarterfinals on Friday.

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