The USWNT’s Elimination from the Women’s World Cup
The USWNT has been knocked out of the Women’s World Cup following a dramatic penalty shootout defeat to Sweden. The winning penalty was scored by Lina Hurtig in a kick that was ruled to have crossed the line, denying goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher’s attempt to keep it out.
Both teams had missed penalties in regulation, with Nathalie Bjorn and Rebecka Blomqvist of Sweden and Megan Rapinoe and Sophia Smith of the US failing to convert. Kelley O’Hara then missed the seventh kick for the US.
Hurtig’s successful penalty secured Sweden’s victory by a matter of millimeters, sending the defending champions home. Sweden will now face Japan in the last eight of the tournament.
The Crucial Moment of the Game
During the penalty shootout, the match remained level until O’Hara missed her kick, hitting the right-hand post. This gave Hurtig the opportunity to score Sweden’s second sudden death kick and secure their place in the next round. Goalkeeper Naeher managed to get a hand to the ball, but goalline technology confirmed that the ball had crossed the line by a tiny margin, resulting in a heartbreaking defeat for the US and jubilation for Sweden.
Understanding Goalline Technology
Goalline technology (GLT) has been an integral part of football since its introduction in 2014. It is routinely used in the Women’s World Cup and other matches worldwide. GLT determines whether the entire ball has crossed the line to confirm the validity of a goal.
The technology relies on multiple cameras strategically positioned around the stadium. These cameras capture the ball’s position during critical moments and determine if it completely crossed the goalline or not. The information is then quickly transmitted to the match referee via a watch, allowing them to make accurate decisions. Additionally, the camera data is used to create a 3D animation shown on screens inside the stadium and on television broadcasts.
Comparison with Semi-Automated Offside Technology
Semi-automated offside technology, used in the current tournament, differs from GLT. The GLT cameras focus solely on the goal areas and do not cover the entire field of play. Therefore, they are not utilized for semi-automated offside technology.
If a match remains undecided after regular time, an additional 30-minute period called extra-time is played. This period consists of two 15-minute halves. If a clear winner still cannot be determined, a penalty shootout follows.
For more information on World Cup extra time and penalties rules, click here.
Player and Coach Reactions
US captain Lindsey Horan expressed pride in the team’s performance despite the loss. She highlighted their confident and patient play, acknowledging that penalties are cruel but praised the team’s courage to take them. Head coach Vlatko Andonovski echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the team’s resilience and fighting spirit.