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FIFA World Cup 2023: Sweden cause biggest upset to knock out champions USA in round of 16

This is the first time the world no.1 United States of America have finished the FIFA World Cup out of the top three.

Written By: Sumeet Kavthale New Delhi Updated on: August 06, 2023 21:08 IST
USA Football team after penalty loss against Sweden
Image Source : GETTY USA Football team after penalty loss against Sweden

Sweden stunned the football world by beating the champions United States of America in the round of 16 match of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 on Sunday, August 6. The world's no.1 team suffered a 5-4 defeat on penalties as they failed to progress to the semi-final round for the first time in the tournament's history.

As expected the champion side dominated the game but failed to find the back of the net in the first 90 minutes and then in 30 extra minutes. They recorded 11 shots on the target while Sweden had only one. USA also enjoyed 58% of the possession but Sweden's defence was rock solid against USA's fierce attack at Melbourne's AAMI Park.

In penalties, Sweden missed their third and fourth attempt while USA missed the third and fourth penalties to make it 3-3. Both teams found the net in their fifth attempt to make it 4-4. But USA's star defender Katie O'Hara missed the spot in the next attempt to add pressure on goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. 

Forward Lina Hurting scored the winning penalty despite Naeher's brilliant attempt to save the effort and USA's hopes. After the loss, Naejer revealed that she saved Hurting's shot but the VAR ruled it as a goal over the line.

“I am proud of the women on the field," said USA head coach Vlatko Andonovski. “I know we were criticized for the way we played, and for different moments in the group stage. I think we came out today and showed the grit, the resilience, the fight. The bravery showed we did everything we could to win the game. And, unfortunately, soccer can be cruel sometimes."

Notably, this is the first time Sweden recorded a World Cup win on penalties. They did beat the USA on penalties in the 2016 Olympics in the quarterfinal round but have never won any international tournament so far. They next face the 2011's winners Japan in the quarter-final who beat Norway 3-1 on Sunday.

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