Women’s World Cup: Spotkicks Lead USA Past Spain

The United States came through a testing last-16 tie against Spain to set up a tantalising Women’s World Cup quarter-final against France.

 

The world’s number-one side and pre-tournament favourites were given a scare by the Spaniards but survived the first nervy match of their title defence with a narrow win thanks to two penalties.

 

Megan Rapinoe’s early goal from the spot gave the USA the lead but Spain hit back when Jennifer Hermoso capitalised on a defensive mix-up to equalise brilliantly.

 

Jill Ellis’ side were awarded another penalty in a tense second half, with the decision standing after a lengthy review from the VAR officials; Spain unhappy at what they saw as the soft nature of midfielder Rose Lavelle’s tumble in the box.

 

Rapinoe held her nerve to fire in from the spot for a second time.

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