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USA beat Netherlands on penalties to reach Olympic semis

Tokyo (AFP) – Megan Rapinoe scored the winning penalty after goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher saved two spot-kicks as the United States defeated the Netherlands 4-2 in a shootout following a 2-2 draw to remain on course for a fifth Olympic women’s football title.

Vivianne Miedema fired the Dutch ahead in Yokohoma but two quick goals from Samantha Mewis and Lynn Williams put the USA in control in a repeat of the 2019 World Cup final, won by the Americans.

Miedema scored her second of the night to level early in the second half but Lieke Martens saw her late penalty saved by Naeher, with both sides having goals ruled out for offside in extra time.

The USA lost to Sweden in a 2016 quarter-final but converted all four attempts this time, with Naeher denying Miedema and Aniek Nouwen to send the world champions through to a semi-final clash against neighbours Canada.

Earlier, Sam Kerr scored twice as Australia beat Team GB 4-3 after extra time to reach the last four, while 2016 bronze medallists Canada edged Brazil on penalties following a goalless draw. 

Britain appeared on course for the semi-finals as two second-half goals from Ellen White gave them a 2-1 lead after Alanna Kennedy headed the Australians ahead in Kashima.

Kerr equalised in the 89th minute to force extra time, with Australia goalkeeper Teagan Micah saving Caroline Weir’s penalty before Mary Fowler’s deflected strike put the Matildas in front.

Kerr powered in a header to extend Australia’s advantage and it proved crucial as White completed her hat-trick with five minutes to play.

Australia will meet Sweden on Monday for a place in the final. Goals from Magda Eriksson and Stina Blackstenius plus Kosovare Asllani’s penalty secured Sweden a 3-1 victory over hosts Japan in Saitama. 

Canada defeated Brazil 4-3 in a penalty shootout in Rifu.

Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe saved the final two Brazilian spot-kicks from Andressa and Rafaelle after Christine Sinclair failed with Canada’s first attempt.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Michelangelo

    July 30, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    Simply amazing win by team U.S.A. The first offside’s goal could have been onside. Megan Rapinoe’s penalty is cold as ice. Let’s go team U.S.A. Next up is Canada.

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