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Women’s World Cup: USA, Two-Time Defending Champions Eliminated By Sweden

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Two-time defending champions USA were knocked out of the Women’s World Cup in the Round of 16 by Sweden (0-0, 5-4 tab) on Sunday in Melbourne, after a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

After the USA’s elimination in the last 16 of the World Cup, Megan Rapinoe confessed her sadness. She was playing in her last World Cup, and will be retiring at the end of the season.

Four remaining matches in the Round of 16 will be 7 Australia – Denmark, England – Nigeria on Monday and France – Morocco and Colombia – Jamaica on Tuesday.

As in the men’s semi-final, France will face Morocco in the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup.

French referee Stéphanie Frappart had to wait for video-assistance (VAR) to validate Lina Hurtig’s elimination penalty, which crossed the goal line by a hair’s breadth.

Megan Rapinoe had missed her attempt, in the 38-year-old icon’s last World Cup appearance. “It feels like a bad joke, a bad movie,” she said. “I know it’s the end, and it’s sad…”

Disappointing during the group phase, the Americans paradoxically put in their most accomplished performance of the competition against Sweden, winning three out of three so far.

Ambitious Sweden, the world’s third-ranked nation, will play Japan in Auckland on Friday for a place in the last four.

Star strikers Alex Morgan and Sophia Smith, named best player in the US league last season, failed to deliver the expected coup de grâce, leaving their team-mates open to a late Swedish comeback.

The Round of 16

August 7th

  • Match 5 – Australia – Denmark | 2 p.m., Stadium Australia (Sydney / Gadigal)
  • Match 6 – England – Nigeria | 11:30 am, Brisbane Stadium (Brisbane / Meaanjin)

August 8th

  • Match 7 – France – Morocco | 3pm, Hindmarsh Stadium (Adelaide / Tarntanya)
  • Match 8 – Colombia – Jamaica | 12pm, Melbourne Rectangular Stadium (Melbourne / Naarm)

Quarter-finals

August 11th

  • Spain – Netherlands
  • Japan – Sweden

August 12th

  • Australia/Denmark – France/Morocco
  • England/Nigeria – Colombia/Jamaica
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