The outcome of United States-Sweden It was worthy of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Not only did they equalize in the 90 minutes, in which the Americans were superior to the Scandinavians, with a stellar performance from their goalkeeper, Zecira Musovic, the Chelsea goalkeeper, who prevented up to three clear goals. In addition, in the overtime the marker did not move either and they had to go to the penalty shootoutwhich was solved in an incredible way.
Incredible outcome of the penalty shootout
Sweden’s qualifying goal had to be ratified by goal technology, because goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher parried the ball at first, but the ball curved in and the American scrambled from the ground and patted the ball over the line without it being known if he had entered. When the French referee Stephanie Frappart scored, the Swedes unleashed their euphoria and the Americans collapsed. Among them, the Ballon d’Or Megan Rapinoe, who went out in extra time and missed her penalty in the shoot-out.
USAcurrent champion after winning the last World Cup in France, was eliminated. They did it in a game in which they deserved more, but the lack of success against the rival goal condemned them. Days after seeing Germany and Marta’s Brazil go home, she was the Americans’ turn.
The box was unexpectedly cleared for the quarterfinals, leaving an open stage. A priori and based on the ranking, the favorite for the Spanish team should be the Netherlands, the current runner-up in the world and Spain’s next rival on Friday. But Vilda’s men have won the last two games they have played. The friendly on April 9, 2021 in Marbella with a goal by Patri Guijarro, who is not in the World Cup as she is one of the players who rebelled against the coach and has maintained her position. The other was in 2019, in the Algarve Cup, months before the last World Cup, with an even more comfortable victory (2-0), with goals from Jenni Hermoso. It is true that the Dutch are completing a great World Cup, passing group leaders after drawing with the United States (1-1) and beating Portugal (1-0) and Vietnam (7-0), and then defeating South Africa in the quarterfinals (2-0). They have only conceded one goal and have scored eleven.
If they defeat the ‘oranje’, the opponent in the semifinals will be Japan or Sweden. The Japanese have already shown that they are a very dangerous rival for Spain, to which they gave the ball and, as Irene Paredes said, “they portrayed us with their counterattacks.” The 0-4 caused a revolution in the Spanish eleven and set off the alarms. Vilda’s don’t even want to hear about them. They prefer Sweden, fourth in the last World Cup and with many players who know the Spanish because they have been or are teammates in clubs like the Barça player Fridolina Rolfo or the ex-madridista and Swedish captain Kosovare Asllani, today in Milan.
On the other side, France and England
On the other side of the table, the quarterfinal matches are not yet known because the round of 16 will be played between today (England-Nigeria, 9:30, and Australia-Denmark, 12:30) and tomorrow (Colombia-Jamaica, 10:00, and France-Morocco, 13:00). The logical thing is that England gets into the quarterfinals, waiting for the winner of the duel between the ‘coffee pots’ and the ‘Reggae Girlz’, to meet a France in the semifinals that it should eliminate Morocco first and the winner of the match between the hosts and the Danes.
The elimination of teams as important as Brazil, which was chasing its first title, the great favorites and defenders of the crown, the United States, the competitive German teams, or even Norway has cleared the calendar of ‘coconuts’ and has opened the bets for the title final. Now England and France are the main candidates and from the side of Spain an ‘outsider’ will arrive.