The U.S. women’s soccer team, which appeared uninspired during much of the Tokyo Olympics, secured a gritty quarterfinal victory over the Netherlands Friday.
The top-ranked Americans eliminated the fourth-ranked Dutch women on penalty kicks, 4-2, after regulation and two extra-time periods resulted in a 2-2 deadlock.
The nail-biter enabled Team USA to avoid tying its earliest exit in Olympic history, which was at the 2016 Rio Games. The last time the team advanced to the semifinals was in 2012, when it won gold.
Megan Rapinoe slammed in the clincher after Rose Lavelle, Alex Morgan and Christen Press also scored in the shootout.
Sam Mewis and Lynn Williams scored the U.S. goals in regulation before the Netherlands’ Vivianne Miedema tied the game at 2-2 with her second goal.
U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher blocked a penalty kick in the 80th minute in regulation, and made two stops in the shootout. The U.S. will play Canada in the semifinals on Monday.
The U.S. is attempting to become the first defending World Cup champion to follow with an Olympic gold.
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