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Sweden defeated USA in the Women’s World Cup© AFP

The United States of America (USA)  — the two-time defending Women’s World Cup champions — were knocked out by Sweden in the round of 16 on Sunday. With the scores reading 0-0 after the end of extra-time, the game that went into the penalty shootout, which saw Sweden edging out 5-4 in sudden death. It was a VAR check that played a crucial role in deciding the fate of the game. In the sudden death, the score was tied at 4-4 when USA’s Kelley O’Hara hit the woodwork with her shot. Lina Hurtig stepped up next. It seemed that USA goalie Alyssa Naeher had saved her shot but a VAR check deemed it as a goal.

Watch the drama here:

Sweden progressed through this deciding penalty #FIFAWWC

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The United States’ long reign as Women’s World Cup holders was brought to an end aafter they were dumped out on penalties by Sweden, who joined the Netherlands in reaching the quarter-finals on Sunday.

Sweden face Japan in the last eight as the drama just kept coming at the tournament in Australia and New Zealand. The Netherlands beat South Africa 2-0 and meet Spain.

Their devastating last-16 defeat after the game ended 0-0 after 120 minutes was the United States’ earliest exit in their Women’s World Cup history and leaves European champions England now the firm favourites.

The USA have long been the dominant force in international women’s football: they have won the World Cup four times and were chasing an unprecedented third title in a row.

Vlatko Andonovski’s side were the better team against Sweden in Melbourne but they could not beat goalkeeper Zecira Musovic and then lost their nerve in the penalty shootout.

Megan Rapinoe, a two-time World Cup winner who was desperate to end her career with another title, missed her spot-kick before the Swedes sealed the deal 5-4 on sudden-death penalties.

(With AFP Inputs)

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