After winning Group F handily, the U.S. team was able to escape an early exit from the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup with two penalty kicks to advance past Spain 2-1 in the round of 16 on Monday.
Megan Rapinoe made both of the kicks for the Americans, in the team's worst offensive and defensive performance in the World Cup.
To put the U.S. up 1-0, Rapinoe’s penalty kick found the back of the Spaniard’s net in the seventh minute, but a gaffe by the Americans around the top of their penalty box led to a turnover to Spain’s Jennifer Hermoso. She quickly put a shot past U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher in the ninth minute.
The go-ahead goal for the U.S. didn’t come from Rapinoe until the 76th minute on another penalty kick.
With those two goals, Rapinoe has accumulated three goals and three assists at the World Cup while also taking on the majority of corner kicks for the U.S. team.
Despite pressure from Spain, the U.S. was able to hold on to the lead and win the game 2-1.
Hermoso’s goal was the only shot on goal for Spain, while the U.S. had three shots on goal.
The Americans were only able to possess the game for 54% of the game against Spain with the team’s possession decreasing every game since their opener against Thailand. In their first three games, the U.S. had a possession percentage of 75% against Thailand, 68% against Chile and 58% against Sweden.
The goal by Spain was the first goal allowed by the Americans in the World Cup, and it breaks a seven-game streak by the U.S. of not allowing a goal in all international play.
After the game against Spain, the U.S. have outscored opponents 20-1 in the cup. The U.S. finished as the top team in Group F after beating Thailand, Chile and Sweden prior to its round of 16 game against Spain.
Entering the game against the U.S., Spain finished second in Group B after beating South Africa 3-1, losing to Germany 1-0 and drawing with China with both teams going scoreless.
Both the U.S. and Spain have already faced each other in 2019 with the U.S. winning 1-0 on Jan. 22 in an international friendly.
In the semifinals, the U.S. will face homecountry France on Friday after the French team beat Brazil 2-1 in extra time.