The USA are into the quarter-finals of the WWC as they edge past Spain in the last 16. It took two penalties from Megan Rapinoe as well as a helping hand from VAR as they set up a gigantic match-up with France.
It didn’t take USA long to get themselves into the lead as less than five minutes, they were awarded a penalty when Tobin Heath went down in the box under the challenge of Maria Leon. Heath picked the ball up on the right side of the box, knocked the ball past the defender and was clipped as she ran by. Megan Rapinoe stepped up to take the penalty and hammered it into the bottom corner.
The lead didn’t last very long as less than three minutes later, Becky Sauerbrunn was caught napping at the edge of the box as the ball was nicked and Jenni Hermoso curled it past Alyssa Naeher in the American net. Spain level and USA experienced a feeling they hadn’t yet felt during this tournament, conceding a goal.
USA into final eight
From then on, USA didn’t look quite the side they had done in the group stages as Spain caused some real problems for the Yank defence. USA did have their chances but star striker Alex Morgan didn’t ever really get into the match.
The US did eventually get their lead back when Rose Lavelle went down under the challenge of Virginia Torrecilla in the box. The referee immediately pointed to the spot but replays should there was very little contact. VAR advised the referee to have a second look, which she did. The ref eventually decided to uphold her original decision and nearly SIX minutes after the original decision, Megan Rapinoe stepped up and scored from the spot once more.
It was a relatively comfortable affair from then on but USA won’t be overly happy with their performance today. This was the first time they’ve been given any sort of challenge and they only just scraped through it. They’ll seriously need to up their game when they face France on Friday evening.