USA Loses in 'Stunning' Fashion at World Cup

Sweden defeats Americans in penalty kicks, barely
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2023 6:56 AM CDT
USA Loses in Dramatic Fashion at World Cup
United States' Emily Sonnett, left, and Sweden's Hanna Bennison fight for the ball during the game in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023.   (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)

The US women's soccer team is out of the World Cup after a dramatic loss to Sweden Sunday on penalty kicks. The teams finished regulation and extra time tied at 0, before Sweden won 5-4 in the kicks, per ESPN. It was a "stunning, stunning conclusion," writes Andrew Das at the New York Times. US goalie Alyssa Naeher nearly made the save on the clinching goal, but the ball popped into the air and crossed the line—by a whisker. Or more precisely, a "fraction of a centimeter," per NBC News. (Watch it here.) Another crushing moment for USA: Megan Rapinoe missed her penalty kick in her final game before retirement. The consensus going into Sweden's game is that reigning champion USA looked relatively shaky, having just barely advanced from the first round.

"I am proud of the women on the field," said US coach Vlatko Andonovski, per the AP. "I know we were criticized for the way we played, and for different moments in the group stage. I think we came out today and showed the grit, the resilience, the fight. The bravery showed we did everything we could to win the game. And, unfortunately, soccer can be cruel sometimes." This is the first time USA has has been knocked out in the round of 16. "We didn't put anything in the back of the net," said Julie Ertz, in tears after the match. "It's just emotional because it's probably my last game ever. It's just tough. It's an emotional time. It obviously sucks. Penalties are the worst." (More Team USA (soccer) stories.)

Get breaking news in your inbox.
What you need to know, as soon as we know it.
Sign up
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.