In its first match of the knockout rounds at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the United States claimed a 2-1 victory over Spain on the back of two penalty kick goals on either side of halftime from Megan Rapinoe.
Utah Royals FC defenders Kelley O’Hara and Becky Sauerbrunn got the nod to start the match at rightback and centerback respectively, as forward Christen Press entered the match in second half stoppage time to help the US book its ticket to the quarterfinal.
The United States came out guns blazing and notched its first goal in the seventh minute when Tobin Heath was brought down inside the penalty area. Rapinoe stepped up to the spot and sent the ball low into the bottom left corner of the net, past the Spanish goalkeeper who went the other way.
In the 9th minute, Spain leveled the match at 1-1 when Jennifer Hermoso clipped a curling ball into the top corner of the net from outside the penalty area past goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
The second half of action wore on as both teams traded chances, but it was the United States who found the go-ahead goal in the 76th minute, again from the penalty spot. After Rose Lavelle was judged to have been brought down inside the area, it was Rapinoe who played hero, sending a carbon copy penalty past the Spanish goalkeeper for the 2-1 victory.
The US used strong defensively play to see out the match – including eight minutes of stoppage – to book its ticket to Paris.
The United States will now face hosts France in Paris on Friday, June 28 at the Parc de Princes at 1:00p MT. The match can be seen live on FOX.
Also on Monday the Canada National Team fell 1-0 in their Round of 16 match to Sweden, ending their time in France at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Utah Royals FC MF Desiree Scott started the match and played all 90 minutes.
Sweden took the lead in the 55th minute with a goal from Stina Blackstenius. Scott almost helped Canada find the equalizer in the 66th minute when her shot hit the arm of Swedish player Kosovare Aslanni. After further review from the Video Assistant Referee, Canada was awarded a penalty kick. Janine Beckie’s shot was saved by the goalkeeper.
In the 86th minute Scott kept Canada’s hopes alive, providing and end-line save off a Sweden free kick.
The result leaves Canada out of the quarterfinals of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup with URFC expecting Scott to return in the coming weeks.