Jul 30, 2021 - Sports

U.S. women's soccer team beats Netherlands, moves on to Olympic semifinals

Image of the U.S. women's soccer team celebrating their victory after a penalty kick shootout.
Members of the U.S. women's soccer team celebrate after beating the Netherlands. Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The U.S. women's soccer team beat the Netherlands in a penalty kick shootout on Friday, propelling them to the semifinals of the Olympic Games.

Why it matters: The win brings the U.S. team one step closer to its quest for a historic back-to-back double — winning the Olympics after emerging victorious at the Women's World Cup. The U.S. will play Canada in the semifinals next week.

  • After 90 minutes of stoppage time and two 15-minute halves of overtime, the U.S. won the penalty kick shootout 4-2.
  • The U.S. team has already performed better in Tokyo than it did in Rio in 2016, when it was knocked out by Sweden in the quarterfinals.

Catch up quick: The Netherlands grabbed the lead early on a goal from Vivianne Miedema in the 18th minute.

  • The U.S. got an equalizer 10 minutes later from Lynn Williams and took the lead three minutes later on a goal from Samantha Mewis.
  • The Netherlands then knotted the score at 2 with a goal in the 54th minute, but failed to convert a penalty to take the lead in the 80th.
  • Both teams went scoreless in overtime. U.S. star Megan Rapinoe sealed the victory with the final penalty kick, following a pair of saves from U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.

The big picture: Entering the tournament with an experienced squad — 17 played on the 2019 World Cup squad — the team rebounded from an early poor performance against Sweden, where it suffered a 3-0 defeat.

  • The U.S. players then breezed past New Zealand with a 6-1 victory in the second round of the group stage before drawing a 0-0 tie against Australia.

What's next: The U.S. team will face eighth-ranked Canada in the semifinals on Monday at 4:00 a.m. ET.

  • Australia will play Sweden.
Ina's view from inside the stadium:
Megan Rapinoe takes her penalty kick, which went in.
Megan Rapinoe takes her penalty kick, which went in. Photo: Ina Fried
U.S. goalie Alyssa Naeher saves a penalty kick. She saved two during the shootout.
U.S. goalie Alyssa Naeher saves a penalty kick. She saved two during the shootout. Photo: Ina Fried
Players run to the goal after winning the penalty kick shootout. Photo: Ina Fried
U.S. players run to the goal after winning the penalty kick shootout. Photo: Ina Fried
The U.S. women's soccer team celebrates after winning in a penalty kick shootout. Photo: Ina Fried
The U.S. women's soccer team celebrates winning. Photo: Ina Fried

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