Naeher the hero as USWNT avoid Olympic shootout heartbreak against Netherlands


Megan Rapinoe transformed the deciding penalty in a shootout and the United States superior to the semi-finals of the girls’s Olympic soccer event 4-2 following a 2-2 draw with the Netherlands on Friday.

US goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher stopped Vivianne Miedema’s opening try in the shootout after which saved a one other from Aniek Nouwen earlier than Rapinoe put her penalty away. It was Naeher’s third penalty save of the match after she had stopped Lieke Martens’s effort in the 81st minute, which might have given the Dutch a 3-2 lead.

Naeher was as cool following the sport as she was throughout it, taking part in down her personal efficiency whereas lauding her teammates.

“This team just kept pushing for 90 minutes, 120 minutes, and we just kept believing that we were going to find a way to get it done,” Naeher stated. “Very proud of the four players to step up and score their four penalties to go four-for-four. That is huge.”

After Rapinoe scored, she turned to her teammates, folded her arms and grinned in triumph. “I just try to stay calm. I always say to myself, ‘The worst that’s going to happen is you’re going to lose the whole thing,”’ she stated with a smile after the sport.

Miedema scored a pair of targets in regulation time for the Netherlands, giving her 10 targets for the event an Olympic document.

“I felt amazing. I should have taken the penalty in the game,” Miedema stated. “I should have just stuck with my plan and go from there. But it’s life. It’s football and I just need to move on.”

Miedema put the Netherlands forward in the 18th minute however the Americans equalized when Sam Mewis headed in a aim off a feed from Lynn Williams in the twenty eighth. Williams then gave the Americans the lead in the thirty first. Miedema, who was taking part in in her a hundredth sport for the Netherlands, made it 2-2 in the 54th.

The United States will subsequent face Canada in Kashima on Monday. The Canadians superior to the semi-finals 4-3 on penalties after a scoreless draw with Brazil in Rifu.

Alyssa Naeher saves Netherlands’ first penalty in Friday’s shootout
Alyssa Naeher saves Netherlands’ first penalty in Friday’s shootout. Photograph: François Nel/Getty Images

The Americans have been taking part in in a shootout for the fifth time in a serious event. The final time was at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, when the US have been crushed by Sweden in the quarter-finals.

United States coach Vlatko Andonovski tinkered together with his lineup for Friday’s match, with Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Christen Press and Rose Lavelle on the bench at the begin.

The grueling sport was the newest hurdle in what has been a very uncharacteristic tournament for the United States. The usually stalwart Americans misplaced to Sweden 3-0 of their opener earlier than beating New Zealand 6-1. They then superior to the knockout spherical following a 0-0 draw with Australia. The United States hadn’t been shutout since 2017.

In Rifu, Canada goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe stopped Rafaelle’s try and was rushed by her teammates. Canada have received bronze medals at the final two Olympics.

Australia earned their first journey to the semi-finals by beating Great Britain 4-3 in extra time in Kashima. The Matildas will face Sweden, who beat host Japan 3-1 in Saitama.



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