Megan Rapinoe, Sophia Smith and Kelly O’Hara missed penalty chances for the United States. For Sweden, Nathalie Bjorn and Rebecca Blomqvist lost by eleven meters. Lena Hardik scored the decisive penalty for Sweden. According to the video referee, American goalkeeper Alyssa Neiher didn’t turn her race and the ball crossed the goal line just moments later.
Sweden continues at the World Cup on Friday with a quarter-final against Japan. The winner of that match will face either the Netherlands national team or Spain in the semi-finals.
American soccer players are the most successful team of all time with four world titles and four Olympic gold medals. But the defending champions did not make a decisive impact in the group stage with the Netherlands (1-1) and Portugal (0-0) and a win against weak Vietnam (3-0).
Sweden lost to Canada in the last Olympic final. Group stage wins against South Africa, Italy and Argentina ensured that the team qualified for the Round of 16 in this World Cup. Yet the USA dominated the eighth final. Sweden escaped before half-time when Lindsay Horan headed over the crossbar.
It looked like the ball wasn’t allowed to the USA. Jesira Musovic, the goalkeeper in the Swedish team, showed a great performance. In extra time she made a brilliant save on Sophia Smith’s goal attempt.
Another surprise was America’s elimination from the World Cup. For example, Olympic champions Canada, Germany and Brazil have already lost in the group stage.