Yokohama, Japan (AP) – When Megan Rapinoe arrived to take the penalty, she tried to stay as calm as possible for the time being.
“You can take one and lose, or take one and win,” she said. “You go both ways.”
It was the winner.
Rapinoe turned the decisive penalty into a penalty shoot-out and the United States advanced to the semi-finals of the women’s Olympic soccer tournament on Friday with a score of 4-2 after a 2-2 draw against the Netherlands.
USA goalkeeper Alyssa Naher stopped Vivian Miedema’s penalty attempt on penalties, then blocked Annick Nouen’s shot before Rapinoe scored.
Rapinoe turned to her teammates, folded her arms and smiled in victory.
Then I joked about the pressure.
“I’m just trying to stay calm. I always say to myself, ‘The worst that can happen is to lose everything,’ “I smiled.
Midema scored two goals in Dutch regulation time, giving him 10 goals for the tournament – an Olympic record. But the Dutch are going home.
Midema put the Netherlands ahead in the 18th minute, but the Americans tied the game when Sam Mewes scored an away goal in the 28th minute while feeding Lynne Williams. Williams gave the Americans the advantage in the 31st.
Midema, who played his 100th game for the Netherlands, made it 2-2 in the 54th minute. Naher blocked a Lieke Martens penalty in the 81st minute and the game went into extra time.
“I was in awe. I should have taken the penalty in the game,” Miedema said. “I should have stuck to my plan and gone from there. But that’s life. That’s the time. football and I just have to move on. “
Naher was as good at following the game as she was during the game, belittling her performance and congratulating her teammates.
“This team kept pushing for 90 minutes and 120 minutes, and we kept thinking that we would find a way to make it happen,” Naher said. “Very proud of the four players who came and scored the four penalties to go 4 to 4. It’s huge.
Next, the United States will face its trusted enemy, Canada, in Kashima on Monday. The Canadians advanced to the semifinals 4-3 on penalties after a goalless draw against Brazil in Rivo.
The Americans took part in penalties in a major tournament for the fifth time. The last time was at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, when the United States rebounded in the quarterfinals against Sweden.
It’s a cruel way to end a game, “said Rapinoe.” It’s a shame to miss someone, a shame to be on the losing side. But that was not what we were today.
Friday’s match at the International Stadium brought the two World Cup finalists together in France two years ago. The Americans won 2-0, after which the public “Equal Pay!” Chanted. Support the legal team’s fight for equality with the men’s team.
USA coach Vlatko Andonovsky manipulated his roster for Friday’s game, with Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Kristen Press and Rose Lavelle on the bench at the start.
This grueling match was the last hurdle in a particularly unusual tournament for the United States. The usually strong Americans lost 3-0 to Sweden in their opener, beating New Zealand 6-1. They then advanced to the knockout stage after a 0-0 draw with Australia.
The United States has not been closed since 2017.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands went on the offensive in the group stage with an Olympic record of 21 goals, breaking the previous United States record of 16 in 2012.
Midema, who plays for English club Arsenal, is only 25 years old and is already the top scorer in Dutch history with 84 goals in 100 games. She is also the top scorer in the Women’s Premier League in England.
The United States also played the Netherlands in Breda in November and won 2-0. The Americans were undefeated in 44 straight games before falling to Sweden at the Tokyo Olympics.
At Rivaux, Canadian goalkeeper Stéphanie Lapp stopped Rafael’s attempt and was pushed by her teammates. Canada has won bronze medals at two recent Olympic Games.
Australia secured their first trip to the semifinals, beating Great Britain 4-3 in overtime at Kashima. Matildas will meet Sweden, who beat Japan 3-1 at Saitama.
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