The U.S. women’s soccer team suffered its earliest exit in a World Cup ever after losing to Sweden in the Round of 16 on Sunday. The teams finished scoreless in regulation and extra time before Sweden prevailed 5-4 in a penalty shootout.
Sweden’s Lina Hurtig delivered the knockout blow on a penalty kick that came off U.S. Women’s goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher’s hands and crossed the line by the slimmest of margins before the Naeher swiped it away again.
Alyssa Naeher nearly kept it out ???? pic.twitter.com/DjpatlgCKD
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 6, 2023
As ESPN notes the U.S. got off to a hot start in the penalty shootout, nailing their first three shots, before Megan Rapinoe, Sophia Smith, and Kelley O’Hara missed their attempts. This gave Hurtig the chance to play hero.
American fans after the match were absolutely buzzing about Rapinoe following the match after seeing her reaction to missing the penalty.
If she had made her kick, her team would have won.
Fans absolutely roasted her for laughing and being a major reason the women are going home.
She went so far as to call it “dark comedy” and a “sick joke”, such was her dismay.
After 17 years of putting herself on the line for the Stars and Stripes, the two-time Women’s World Cup winner was in tears as she departed the global stage for the final time.
On Rapinoe’s 202nd appearance for the USA, the defending world champions dramatically lost 5-4 on penalties to Sweden after a last-16 goalless draw in Melbourne.
Rapinoe, 38, ranks among the most successful players of her generation and announced before the tournament she would be retiring at the end of the season.
With the USA leading 3-2 on penalties on a tension-filled night, substitute Rapinoe missed her spot-kick before Sophia Smith and Kelley O’Hara also failed to score in the shootout.
When Lina Hurtig converted the decisive penalty by the finest of margins, eliminating the four-time world champions, Rapinoe was overcome with emotion.
The Olympic gold medal winner hoisted up her shirt in an attempt to hide her face.
Ten minutes after the game, the television cameras picked out Rapinoe being consoled by team-mate Lynn Williams after the 2019 Ballon d’Or winner’s dream of ending her USA career on a high were dashed.
“This is like a sick joke,” said Rapinoe. “For me personally, I’m just like, this is dark comedy. I missed a penalty.”
Megan Rapinoe laughing after missing the penalty ????
— Amir Reza (@amir7reza7) August 6, 2023
@USWNT maybe now you can stand up for national anthem? Megan Rapinoe just had to score and the USA women’s World Cup team goes thru. She shanks it and misses the goal. She laughs after she misses. We lose. All Megan Rapinoe fault. They only care about social Justice.
— Ryan (@martianvehicle) August 6, 2023
Hey Megan Rapinoe, it looks like you won't have to be annoyed listening to the National Anthem at the World Cup anymore ???? pic.twitter.com/AkFk3XI10u
— Vince Langman (@LangmanVince) August 6, 2023
The anti-American USA woke women's soccer team has been eliminated and Megan Rapinoe is the cause of it.
???????????? I can't stop laughing. https://t.co/YU8Bj4SsAI
— Catturd ™ (@catturd2) August 6, 2023