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Defending World Cup Champions Bow Out Of World Cup to Sweden 5-4 on Penalty Kicks

Defending World Cup Champions Bow Out Of World Cup to Sweden 5-4 on Penalty Kicks

The United States Women’s National Team fell short of reaching the 2023 FIFA World Cup Quarterfinals in a heartbreaking loss to Sweden in the Round of 16. The United States and Sweden were level at 0-0 before going into extra time and eventually a penalty shootout.

The United States maintained a bulk of the possession at 58% and launched 21 shots towards the Sweden net with 12 on target. Sweden had just one shot on goal with seven shots total. This is the second time the United States Women’s National Team has lost on a penalty shootout, with the first loss coming to Japan in the 2011 Women’s World Cup Final. 

The United States converted on the first three penalties taken. Sweden converted on their first two before Natalie Bjorn misses her chance and Alyssa Naeher denied Rebecka Blomqvist. The United States would have an opportunity to slam the door shut on Sweden, but Megan Rapinoe skied her attempt over the crossbar. Sophia Smith would also miss her chance, leading to Naeher taking a penalty and converting from the mark. Kelly O’Hara’s chance bounced off the right side of the outside post, leaving one penalty left for Sweden to convert at a chance to go through to the 2023 FIFA World Cup Quarterfinals.

Sweden’s Hurtig would step up and take the deciding kick for Sweden, which was punched away by Naeher, but the ball deflected up off of her gloves and ultimately spun back into the net to solidify Sweden’s spot in the 2023 FIFA World Cup against Japan.