Olympics 2021: USWNT advances to semifinals with penalty shootout win over Dutch (2024)

The U.S. women's national team beat the Netherlands in a penalty shootout to advance to the Tokyo Olympics women's soccer semifinals.

The two teams went to penalties after finishing extra time in the quarterfinal tied 2-2. Megan Rapinoe stepped up to secure Team USA's win with the final goal in the Americans' 4-2 penalty shootout win. Rose Lavelle, Alex Morgan and Christen Press had the other three goals in the shootout.

"The beauty of this team is when things aren't going right, we're still getting results," forward Lynn Williams said after the game. "And I think that's what you saw tonight. We're never gonna give up until the very last whistle is blown."

Williams also credited Alyssa Naeher with "(keeping) us in the game" after the goalkeeper made a penalty save in the 81st minute to keep the matchup tied and had two more in the shootout.

The Dutch opened the game's scoring with a goal from Vivianne Miedema in the 18th minute. Team USA remained aggressive in their early approach, and Sam Mewis equalized after connecting with Williams for a diving header to score in the 28th minute.

Williams, who made her first Olympic start on Friday, later latched on to a loose ball and sent it sailing past the goalkeeper to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead.

"We were very pragmatic in our approach and I felt like the three players that started the game will give us what we need for the time that they were on the field," coach Vlatko Andonovski said. "Which I'm very happy, Lynn being one of them, came in and scored a goal and assisted on a goal, but it's not just that I thought that she started herself with the other players. Started us off very well and set up a good base for us for the rest of the game."

After half, Miedema wasted no time for the Netherlands by adding a second goal in the 54th minute. Her shot went between Julie Ertz's legs and past Naeher's fingertips to tie it. But Naeher would not be beaten again, as she helped the U.S. grind out the win.

"I'm incredibly proud of them, proud of the way they handled, not just this game, but the way they've handled this tournament," Andonovski said. "Coming in and losing the first game, and actually, not just losing but getting our butts kicked, it's not easy for this team that is not used to losing. They're not even used to having a bad game, and to lose like that was not easy."

Friday's quarterfinal game marked the ninth meeting all-time between the USWNT and the Netherlands and their second matchup in the knockout rounds of a world tournament. The first meeting came in July of 2019, when the U.S. beat the Netherlands, 2-0, in France to capture the Women's World Cup title.

The USWNT will face Canada in the semifinals on Monday after the Canadians knocked out Brazil in a penalty shootout.

(Photo: Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images)

Can the U.S. keep living on the edge?

Steph Yang, women's soccer writer: This sounds awfully co*cky and I expect it may come back to bite me, but against Canada — perhaps.

To win a gold medal, no, not at all. The other side of the bracket features Australia and Sweden, and both of those teams could punish the U.S. we saw for most of today's game — sloppy in possession, sloppy in passing, sloppy on first touches, stretched with an easily bypassed midfield.

When you add momentum into the equation, it's questionable if the U.S. is going into the gold medal round on the upswing.

What to expect against Canada

Yang: The U.S. looked tired, plain and simple. But they also put together a really nice stretch of play in the first half when they managed to go up on two quick goals.

Canada's fullbacks are likely just as exhausted as any U.S. player given their tough 120 against Brazil, which could be another point in favor of giving Williams more time, aside from the fact the U.S. looked much better with her in the high press than without her in their mid block.

Canada's midfield might not necessarily have been the biggest challenge against a peak U.S., but with the way Lindsey Horan, Sam Mewis, and even Rose Lavelle have been going about it, this could spell a back-and-forth possession battle with a lot of deep defending.

Olympics 2021: USWNT advances to semifinals with penalty shootout win over Dutch (2024)
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