SOCCER

USA Defeats Spain on Penalty Kicks, Advances to the Quarterfinals

USA hangs on to defeat Spain, 2-1 in a sub par performance.

Photo courtesy of the LA Times

Once again, the USA scored within the opening 12 minutes of the game. It was on a penalty kick from Megan Rapinoe when Tobin Heath went down in the box.

Team USA had taken the lead but didn’t hold it long as Jennifer Hermoso scored about five minutes later on a stolen ball, making her the first player to score against the USA this year in the World Cup.

The game stayed tied until the second half, which was unusual for the USA gals, as they normally would have a lead by this point.

Spain was bringing the heat and team USA wasn’t as productive as they usually were. However, with the help from another penalty call, the red, white, and blue were able to score again, but not without some controversy.

VAR was used, and the call stood as there being contact in the box. Some would argue that Rose Lavelle didn’t get kicked and that her fall was dramatic. Others agree that the penalty kick was warranted and that she fell due to being tripped. You can watch the video below and draw your own conclusion.

With the call in Team USA’s favor, Rapinoe lined up and drilled her second shot of the day. Giving the USA a 2-1 lead and just enough energy to hold Spain and win the game.

Rapinoe scored the only two goals of the game on PK’s AND becomes the second player to do that after Jenni Hermoso.

This game could have gone a totally different way, had there been no penalties. Spain was giving the USA team a run for their money and just might have pulled it off if they were able to control some things. However, it doesn’t matter how you score a goal and the team with the most, moves onto the Elite 8.

The USA ladies will head to Paris on Friday to face a tough France team. Hopefully, within these next few days, they can work on their defense and get better at the goalie position, because the competition is only going to get better from here.

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