‘Sick Joke’: Megan Rapinoe Ends Her Career with Missed Penalty Kick that Costs U.S. the World Cup

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 06: Megan Rapinoe of USA is dejected after their team was de
Alex Grimm - FIFA/FIFA via Getty

The international career of Megan Rapinoe ended in a dramatic penalty shoot-out against Sweden on Sunday with her failed kick at goal helping to send the U.S.A. team crashing out of the soccer World Cup underway in New Zealand and Australia.

Rapinoe and Sophia Smith missed penalties that could have given the U.S. the win, and Kelley O’Hara missed the Americans’ final shot to give Sweden the opening it needed.

In an interview after the dramatic finish to the contest staged in Melbourne, Australia, Rapinoe said: “I mean, this is like a sick joke. For me personally, this is like dark comedy that I missed a penalty. This is the balance to the beautiful side of the game. I think it can be cruel.”

The result ended the international career of Rapinoe, the Golden Boot winner of the 2019 tournament who is retiring after the World Cup.

It is the earliest exit in tournament history for the United States, four-time winners of the World Cup.

The United States claimed the last two Women’s World Cups and four of the eight editions held before this year’s event Down Under.

They had never gone out before the semi-final stage.

This time they have been sent packing in the last 16 having won just one game and that an unconvincing 3-0 defeat of Vietnam.

Megan Rapinoe #15 of the United States smiles to herself after missing her penalty kick during the shootout at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Round of 16 match between Sweden and the United States in Melbourne, Australia. (Robin Alam/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

Megan Rapinoe and Kristie Mewis of USA embrace after the team’s defeat through the penalty shootout in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Round of 16 match between Sweden and USA at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on August 06, 2023 in Melbourne / Naarm, Australia. ( Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Andi Sullivan #17 of the U.S. hugs Megan Rapinoe #15 after the dramatic finish to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Round of 16 match. (Robin Alam/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

Brought off the bench against Sweden, her final act for her country was to put her penalty over the bar and send her country’s hopes with it into oblivion.

Plenty of soccer fans on twitter moved to voice their exasperation with her final effort.

The next World Cup is in 2027 and it could be on home soil, with the United States bidding to co-host the tournament with Mexico.


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