The Women's World Cup defending champions, the United States women's soccer team, were eliminated from the tournament after losing a penalty shootout against Sweden. The match concluded with a score of 1-1, and Sweden won the game 5-4 during the penalty shootout. Megan Rapinoe, Sophia Smith, and Kelley O'Hara failed to convert their penalty kicks, and Lina Hurtig scored the decisive goal in Sweden's 5-4 shootout triumph.
The United States leaving the tournament at this stage represents the earliest elimination in its history. The U.S. team's defeat came as a significant surprise, as the team had high expectations of winning the tournament once more. The team had previously won the last two Women's World Cups and was expected to be one of the primary contenders to win this year's tournament.
The U.S. team dominated the initial stage of the tournament by winning all three group stage matches with a strong performance. However, they had difficulties in the knockout phase, drawing 0-0 with Canada in the quarterfinals and eventually winning on penalties, and then losing to Sweden in the semifinals.
Although the loss is a frustration for the U.S. team and their fans, it also indicates the increasing capability of women's soccer worldwide. In recent years, the Women's World Cup has become more competitive with the increase of investments in women's soccer programs by various countries. The US team must reassess the situation and plan for the next tournament.