Los Fresnos News

Out By An Eyelash

Team USA Shocked in Round of 16

By Ruben Rodriguez

After a grueling Group Stage, Team USA was set to face off against Sweden in the Round of 16 of the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

The USA and Sweden were two teams who were arguably evenly matched heading into the World Cup, but out of the Group Stage, that was a different story. During Group Play, Sweden led their group with nine points, Sweeping all three group opponents. The victories included a 2-1 victory over South Africa, a 5-0 win over Italy, and 2-0 win over Argentina. Meanwhile, the USA only defeated Vietnam 3-0 before tying with the Netherlands and Portugal.

During the match, both teams played equally on defense and offense, both teams played throughout the match trying to take the lead on each other. However, 90 minutes were not enough as both squads then had to tap in for 30 more minutes in extra time. Now 120 minutes later, The U.S. and Sweden went into a Penalty Shootout to determine who would advance into the quarterfinals.

Both teams shot from the spot with ease before the struggles kicked in as both squads would then miss consecutive penalty kicks. In the final time from the spot for Sweden, Lina Hurtig fired a shot in that was just deflected by keeper Alyssa Naeher and nearly bounced in before Naeher had a second tap on it to keep it out. 

On such a close call, the VAR (Video Assisted Review) was used to determine if the ball was kept out. However, after review, the ball had just crossed the goal line by a mere eyelash and was ruled a goal, giving Sweden a 5-4 victory in Penalties.

For Sweden, their World Cup Journey Continues as they take on Japan in the Quarterfinals. Meanwhile for the USA, they will finish the 2023 Women’s World Cup with a 1-1-2 record, as their journey for a third consecutive World Cup comes to an end.