Sweden 0-0 USA (pens: 5-4): World Cup holders knocked out on penalties

Hosts: Australia and New Zealand Dates: 20 July-20 August
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website & app. Full coverage details ; latest news

Reigning champions the USA are out of the Women’s World Cup after being stunned by Sweden on penalties on a night of incredible drama in Melbourne.

USA dominated the 120 minutes but were denied by an inspired goalkeeping performance from Zecira Musovic.

The drama only ratcheted up further in the shootout. Three USA players, including Megan Rapinoe, missed before Sweden won in remarkable circumstances.

USA keeper Alyssa Naeher appeared to have saved Lina Hurtig’s effort at the second attempt, having pushed the initial effort up before clawing it out.

But after checking with the video assistant referee (VAR), referee Stephanie Frappart awarded the goal and sparked wild Sweden celebrations.

Sweden go through to face Japan in the quarter-finals.

They were indebted to Musovic, who made 11 saves in a game where the USA looked more like the team which won the World Cup in 2015 and 2019 than the one which snuck through the group stage.

But they could not score and in the shootout Rapinoe, Sophia Smith and Kelley O’Hara all missed, Rapinoe with what is her final action at a World Cup as she has announced she will retire at the end of the year.

It condemns the USA to their worst performance at a Women’s World Cup. They had never previously failed to make it to the semi-finals.

Rapinoe’s nightmare farewell as USA crash out

USA had not turned up to the World Cup party before Sunday. Flat and uninspired as they finished second in Group E while failing to win two first-stage matches for the first time in this competition, they have been subject to fierce criticism back home.

Manager Vlatko Andonovski had to make changes – especially as key midfielder Rose Lavelle was suspended for this game – and moved Julie Ertz from centre-back into midfield as the USA switched from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1.

It worked a treat in the first half as they dominated play and were only denied the lead by Musovic and the crossbar.

Trinity Rodman twice stung the gloves of Musovic before Lindsey Horan came even closer by rattling the woodwork with a header from a corner.

USA looked like a proud side stung into action by external criticism and internal knowledge that they have not been good enough so far. A ball recovery time of just six seconds in the first half was evidence of that.

They continued to make chances after the break, Horan and Alex Morgan denied by superb Musovic saves and Emily Sonnett shooting over from the edge of the area.

But they needed a goal to make their dominance count and, as they toiled for it, the crowd which had followed them to Melbourne were becoming more nervous as the game rolled on into extra time.

They continued to be denied by Musovic in the extra period as she saved from Morgan, Lynn Williams and Sophia Smith, with Andonovski sending on Rapinoe shortly before the 100th minute.

The 38-year-old has long been the team’s defining symbol and inspiration – but here she blazed the fourth USA penalty wildly over the bar.

Smith put well wide when the USA would have advanced if she scored, before O’Hara struck the post.

The dreams of the USA being the first nation to win three successive World Cups is over. Their reign as undisputed queens of the global women’s game is also finished.

Magnificent Musovic saves Sweden

Sweden breezed through Group G with a 100% record. However, the four-time world champions are a big step up from South Africa, Italy and Argentina.

Sweden were reliant on Musovic, who spent most of last season as back-up for Women’s Super League champions Chelsea and may have fallen further down the pecking order at Kingsmeadow after they signed England’s Hannah Hampton – but she proved why she is number one for her country here.

In the 53th minute Horan’s first-time shot following a low cross from the right seemed destined for the bottom corner, only for Musovic to make a brilliant low one-handed stop to her left despite being unsighted by Trinity Rodman stood in front of her.

Even better came in the final seconds of normal time as Morgan headed down from point-blank range, only for Musovic to palm the ball way.

Sweden did get more of a measure of their opponents as the game wore on, but still had to defend deep as waves of USA attacks crashed upon them. They did not have their first shot on target until the 85th minute, Sofia Jakobsson firing straight at Naeher.

Ultimately they were reliant on Musovic to get them to penalties – when the greatest drama played out, and the once unbeatable USA were toppled.

Player of the match

MusovicZecira Musovic

with an average of 9.22


  1. Squad number1Player nameMusovic

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  2. Squad number6Player nameEriksson

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  3. Squad number18Player nameRolfö

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  4. Squad number9Player nameAsllani

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  5. Squad number2Player nameAndersson

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  6. Squad number13Player nameIlestedt

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  7. Squad number11Player nameBlackstenius

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  8. Squad number23Player nameRubensson

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  9. Squad number8Player nameHurtig

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  10. Squad number20Player nameBennison

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  11. Squad number10Player nameJakobsson

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  12. Squad number16Player nameAngeldahl

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  13. Squad number19Player nameRytting Kaneryd

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  14. Squad number15Player nameBlomqvist

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  15. Squad number14Player nameBjörn

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  1. Squad number1Player nameNaeher

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  2. Squad number10Player nameHoran

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  3. Squad number13Player nameMorgan

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  4. Squad number20Player nameRodman

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  5. Squad number14Player nameSonnett

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  6. Squad number23Player nameFox

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  7. Squad number4Player nameGirma

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  8. Squad number17Player nameSullivan

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  9. Squad number8Player nameErtz

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  10. Squad number19Player nameDunn

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  11. Squad number11Player nameSmith

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  12. Squad number6Player nameWilliams

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  13. Squad number22Player nameMewis

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  14. Squad number5Player nameO’Hara

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  15. Squad number15Player nameRapinoe

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Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Musovic
  • 14Björn
  • 13Ilestedt
  • 6Eriksson
  • 2Andersson
  • 16AngeldahlSubstituted forBennisonat 97′minutes
  • 23Rubensson
  • 19Rytting KanerydSubstituted forJakobssonat 82′minutes
  • 9AsllaniBooked at 49minsSubstituted forHurtigat 82′minutes
  • 18Rolfö
  • 11BlacksteniusSubstituted forBlomqvistat 112′minutes


  • 3Sembrant
  • 4Lennartsson
  • 5Sandberg
  • 7Janogy
  • 8Hurtig
  • 10Jakobsson
  • 12Falk
  • 15Blomqvist
  • 17Seger
  • 20Bennison
  • 21Enblom
  • 22Schough


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Naeher
  • 23FoxSubstituted forO’Haraat 120′minutes
  • 8ErtzBooked at 119mins
  • 4Girma
  • 19Dunn
  • 14SonnettSubstituted forMewisat 120′minutes
  • 17Sullivan
  • 20RodmanSubstituted forWilliamsat 66′minutes
  • 10Horan
  • 11Smith
  • 13MorganSubstituted forRapinoeat 99′minutes


  • 2Sanchez
  • 3Huerta
  • 5O’Hara
  • 6Williams
  • 7Thompson
  • 9DeMelo
  • 12Cook
  • 15Rapinoe
  • 18Murphy
  • 21Kingsbury
  • 22Mewis

Stéphanie Frappart

Match Stats

Live Text

Post update

Match ends, Sweden 0(5), USA 0(4).

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