Well, the woke women’s soccer team from the United States is out of the running for the World Cup after a dismal defeat to Sweden, with Swedish player Lina Hurtig winning the game and advancing her team by firing a ball at U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and knocking it into the goal. Naeher pushed the ball up when trying to stop it, and it hit the top of the goalpost before bouncing back down and crossing the goal line.
That put Sweden in the lead 5 to 4 and it won the game, with jubilation being the dominant Swedish emotion and depression the dominant American emotion. Watch the moment here:
Alyssa Naeher nearly kept it out 🧤 pic.twitter.com/DjpatlgCKD
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 6, 2023
American soccer player Lindsey Horan, commenting on the game-winning goal, said, “A lot went into this performance and it was kinda changing gears and playing like us and playing our style – being confident and patient and all of those things. We went out and did it. And I think we played beautiful football today.”
Continuing, she added, “Penalties, to be frank, they suck. They’re cruel. I’ve gone through too many in my career. I’m proud of every player who stepped up and took a penalty today. Score or miss, it’s courageous to go take a penalty.”
Importantly for many people, the defeat came after Megan Rapinoe laughed when she missed her penalty kick. It went far too high and, when she saw that she had missed, Rapinoe started laughing to herself. Watch that here:
Megan Rapinoe misses a crucial penalty kick and laughs about it.
— 3sidedstory 🇺🇲 (@3sidedstory) August 6, 2023
That infuriated fans, who thought the incident showed the team’s mindset. One commenter on Twitter, for example, said, “I don’t see what’s funny about this? The laughing shows how much this team took this as a joke. So much for being a role model for the rest of the team.”
Another said, “I’m generally a Megan Rapinoe fan, but laughing after a missed penalty is not a good look
Rapinoe, for her part, said, “I thought we played really well, I am so happy for us that we went out playing the way that we did. This is dark comedy, I missed a penalty. This is the balance to the beautiful side of the game. I feel really grateful and joyful and I know this is the end and that is sad. This is the only time I have bene in one of these (losing on penalties at a World Cup) – it has been an honor.”
In another interview, she said, “It is tough, it sucks. There was so much more in it for us.” In that same interview, she said, “It’s a sick, sick joke. I’ve never hit it over, when I miss they are saved.”
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video